WHAT WE STAND FOR
(Al McKinnis, a nightshift linefeeder at Ford Twin Cities, produced this statement for the growing worker Solidarity network.)
We believe that auto workers everywhere, and working men and women everywhere, seek solace and self-fulfillment in solidarity. We recognize that the values of corporate society are completely divergent from those of working class people. We believe that the UAW and all labor unions were created from this principle. We further believe that the UAW has abandoned this principle, and in so doing has abandoned auto workers, and has begun an arrogant, selfish and destructive assault on our hope and our humanity. The very purpose of our union.
We do not believe that it is in our interest, our belief system, or our purpose, to compete, auto worker against auto worker, in company/UAW programs like FPS [Ford Production System]. We do not believe that concessions should be given to automakers for fear of having our home plant closed because another plant may be more competitive at the margin. We believe that all auto workers everywhere are equal. We believe in UPS (union production system).
At the moment, we are a small group of people organizing for the resurrection of our union. We have just begun. We believe that most auto workers believe as we do. The purpose of getting people together from different plants is to make people at your local aware of our insurrection, to initiate momentum, plan our next step, and remind all auto workers that there is an alternative to competition: solidarity. What if auto workers decide to say, "no more job cuts, no more closings," and "one goes, we all go?" That's the power we have lost, and that's the power we want to retake.
Al McKinnis, UAW Local 879
From New Democracy Newsletter, July-August 2001.