ICOG Information Letter No. 9

Register now for the 2nd International Automotive Workers' Conference and take over responsibility in the preparations!


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From 3-5 September 2019, the 3rd meeting of the International Coordination Group (ICOG) took place successfully in Johannesburg, South Africa. In preparation for the 2nd International Conference of Automotive Workers in Johannesburg, South Africa, February 19-23, 2020, important decisions and concrete commitments for further preparations were made. We would like to thank the militant metalworkers' union NUMSA for its support of our meeting. NUMSA itself was at the same time in the midst of complicated collective bargaining negotiations and was about to decide on a possible strike. The safety of the meeting was guaranteed.

Immediately after the ICOG meeting we were able to book the venue and the rooms for the realization of 2nd International Automotive Workers Conference south of Johannesburg. We re­commend that you arrive 1-2 days in advance in order to better adapt to the conditions in South Africa. Inexpensive overnight accommodation in the vicinity will be available. After the conference it will be possible to get to know the country and its people, if you are interested. Exact details oo location of venue, accommodation and further offers you will get latest in two weeks.

The ICOG has adopted guidelines for an international registration and accreditation process (see excerpts in the appendix). In all countries we strive for consensus in setting up delegations. Please contact the ICOG in case anything is unclear. Delegates should register by 1.1.2020 if possible. However we want to win delegations until the beginning of the conference on 19 February at 10 a.m.

The economic and political framework conditions in the automotive and supplier industry are characterized by increasing signs of crisis and profound changes due to the transition to electromobility and digitization. Global passenger car production fell by 4.0 percent in 2018 compared with the previous year. The destruction of hundreds of thousands of jobs has been announced by the international automobile monopolies and has begun to be implemented. The workforce is resisting this trend. The joint coordinated struggle and our international campaign for the 30 hour week with full wage compensation are gaining in importance.

Many workforces of the automobile and supplier groups are confronted with mass dismissals and further attacks on wages and social benefits. 48,000 GM colleagues in the USA courageously took up the collective bargaining strike on September 16 for higher wages, improved health services and regulations for taking over temporary workers into full employment. In Latin America GM workforces are fighting together against mass dismissals. Ford wants to destroy 12,000 of its 50,000 jobs and close 6 plants in Europe alone. International supplier groups like ZF, Schaeffler or Continental are also planning massive job cuts. At Schaeffler, thousands of employees at all 26 locations protested on June 28 against the planned destruction of up to 21,000 jobs.

The ICOG agrees that our 2nd conference and the adoption of an International Program of Struggle for Automotive Workers is exactly the right thing to do in this situation. We are eagerly awaiting lively reports from the countries and an intensive exchange of experiences among colleagues from the various companies. We ask all delegates to prepare 5-minute country reports as PowerPoint presentations, if possible.

Proposals for amendments to the draft program of struggle can be submitted extended to 15 January 2020. The delegates will then receive an improved draft on 1 February 2020 for further discussion at the 2nd IAC, where initiative motions are still possible.

In particular, the transition to a global climate catastrophe poses a challenge not only to automotive workers and their families, but to the whole of humanity. Consequently, the ICOG issued a call on September 5 for participation in the International Climate Strike Day on September 20 and 27, for the unity of the environmental and working-class movement. Worldwide millions of people demonstrated and gave a clear signal.

The following thematic forums have been registered so far (mainly responsible persons from the country in brackets): struggle against the threatening environmental catastrophe (Germany); health of workers and environment (Brazil); effects of climate and environmental conditions on industry (Brazil). Workers in the fight for world peace, against fascism and rightward development of governments (Germany); Industry 4.0 and the effects of electromobility on the automotive workforce (Spain); For trade-union unity (Germany); new-imperialist countries and social perspectives (both Germany); xenophobia, racism, machismo, migrants (South Africa).

Corporate group forums have so far been registered by colleagues from Ford, GM/PSA, BMW, Daimler/Renault, VW, Bosch and suppliers.

There is a registration from the USA for a workshop "League of Revolutionary Black Workers". The ICOG proposes further topics such as "Temporary work" or "Fight against the suppression of democratic and trade union rights", as well as a workshop on the international website automotiveworkers.org. Please contact us.

Further registrations for forums and workshops are possible and those interested can contact the ICOG directly if they want to participate in the preparation and implementation of the forums named. We strive for international cooperation.

Proposed agenda and schedule:





Wed.. 19.2.20

until 10 a.m

Arrival and accreditation of the delegates


11.00 – 11.30

Opening ceremony


11.30 - 18.00

Plenary session: Situation and struggles in the auto and supplier industry country reports (5 hours)


19.30 - 21.00

Opening evening

Thurs.. 20.2.20

9.00 - 9.30

Delegates Assembly, Part 1

Agenda, Election of presidium IAC, further decisions (0,5h)


9.30 -12.30

Discussion: Draft of International Program of Struggle (3h)


14.00 – 18.30

Thematic forums (4.5h)



Evening program

Friday 21.2.20

9.00 – 15.00

Corporate group forums (4.5h)



Mass demonstration



Evening program

Saturday. 22.2.20

9.00 - 12.00 and 13.30 till 16.30

Delegates Assembly, Part 2 (6h): Work report ICOG, Financial report and auditors' report, Decision on Program of Struggle, election of new ICOG



Workshops, visits and tours in the region


17.30 - 20.00

Closing celebration, cultural evening

Sunday 23.2.20

9.00 - 12.00

Closing plenary session (3h)

Resolutions and joint closing statement


For further mobilization for the 2nd IAC, ICOG has discussed a proposal from Brazil for a poster and decided on it with further improvements.

For further organizational preparation and implementation of the 2nd IAC, the ICOG decided to establish a Multilateral Assistance Staff (MAS). It has 10 teams, which will be set up immediately and built up step by step. We urge all supporters worldwide to take over responsibility in the teams and team leadership.

The teams are so far:

1) Registration, arrival and departure, visa, domestic transport, accommodation

2) Security and communication

3) Translation/translation equipment

4) House/Reception/Info-center

5) Kitchen, Catering

6) Technical equipment, conference and event

7) Office, office equipment

8) Finances/cash register, also on site

9) Health care of the participants

10) Evening event

In South Africa, many colleagues from the national preparation group are already actively tackling the work. Organizational preparations were started and overnight accommodations were reserved. Practical support has also been promised by NUMSA.

The ICOG especially calls on young people to apply as helpers starting now in international brigades in the preparation and implementation of the 2nd IAC and to become active together. Further information and applications to the ICOG: eMail: contact@iawc.info

The ICOG has decided on a donation campaign for the 2nd International Conference of Automotive Workers with a goal of 50,000 euros. Become active and develop initiatives. Report about your donation activities and the state of development. The delegations should normally finance their participation themselves. Applications to support travel expenses can be submitted to the ICOG.

The ICOG decided on a differentiated participant contribution so that participants, especially from South Africa, can participate without hurdles according to their circumstances. The ICOG will publish more detailed information on the participation fee, catering and accommodation costs once the expected costs have been recorded and calculated.

We will inform you regularly about the course of further preparations and mobilization. We hope that you develop many ideas and strength in the preparation and mobilization for the 2nd International Conference of Automotive Workers.


With greetings of solidarity


Carlos Luiz Prates Mancha (Brazil), Diego Rejon Bayo (Spain), Dieter Schweizer (Germany)

Coordinators of ICOG



Attachment: Registration procedure

Registrations will be registered and processed by the ICOG through a registration team. A contact and registration button for each language is provided for this purpose on the IAC homepage. The central mail address is the ICOG address contact@iawc.info. It is proposed to make the applications together as far as possible as cities/countries.

Registrations are usually organized via a contact person or e-mail connection. For this purpose a registration list will be compiled. Registrations will be assigned “at home” by name and numbers so that there are no double registrations (e.g. D-Germany - BO-Bochum, 01...).

Centrally only the list with numbers from the respective country or city with data to the gender is submitted, and if necessary personal characteristics to be considered with regard to food, overnight stay etc., concerning delegates, how they were nominated. We request that the exact time, date and place of arrival and departure are given.

Concerning brigadists, which period of time, capabilities and desires they have (I.e.: country and/or city, number, f/m/d, organization/union; special features, payment).

As a rule, registration is accompanied by payment of the participation fee. The contribution can also be payed at the venue.

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