New published June 1, 2019: DRAFT OF PROGRAM OF STRUGGLE FOR THE SECOND INTER- NATIONAL AUTOMOTIVE WORKERS CONFERENCE (IAWC) IN JOHANNESBURG / SOUTH AFRICA IN FEBRUARY 2020

The first objective of the 2nd IAWC is the realization of an effective coordination of the struggles of automotive workers. International workers unity is important to oppose the greed of the multinational corporations. The global distribution of this international program of struggle, its discussion in the run-up and its approval at the IAWC and the conducting of International Automotive Workers Conferences will serve this purpose. We work on the basis of its decisions and organizational principles. In order to achieve the goal of coordinating the automotive workers, the 2nd IAWC should specify a program of struggle, in which our vision for the future and our most important demands in the international joint struggle are precisely formulated.

 

(draft of program of struggle - download)

 

 

INTERNATIONAL AUTOMOTIVE WORKERS CONFERENCE (IAWC)

PLATFORM OF DEMANDS

 

1.) A comprehensive process of restructuring is going on among the big auto manufacturers. Making use of their huge profits, they want to reach or surpass the profitability of the most dynamic technological sectors of the economy. Therefore they are in a race to make best use of the new technologies. This restructuring is costly for the workers. Thousands of jobs were lost, plants were closed. Wages and social benefits declined. Workers are suffering under these attacks. The technological development did not improve the living conditions of the automotive workers. Achievements were lost. Given the industrial transformation that electromobility will entail for all automotive groups and the supplier companies, the IAWC rejects that the increase in production capacities, that the new technologies will generate under the conditions of capitalism, should lead to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, as announced by the companies.

WORKING TIME OF 30 HOURS A WEEK OR 6 HOURS A DAY WITHOUT WAGE REDUCTION as the most important economic demand in the fight for each job and training place against mass unemployment. This allows the distribution of the wealth that is created through a higher productive capacity and more free time for personal and social development.

Given the lower demand for labor that technological advances entail, we must distribute the work to maintain employment, reduce exploitation and improve workers’ lives. Both the technological changes of the so-called Industry 4.0 and the crisis-prone changes caused by electromobility threaten to destroy thousands of jobs. It is clear that working class unity is the way to achieve these objectives. We must put an end to flexibility agreements, increases in workloads and other measures that reduce jobs every day. The coherent response of all unions is to end collaboration in increases in productivity and flexibility and to fight for every job.

We call on all workers to unite in the defense of their jobs and to improve working conditions. YOU ARE NOT ALONE, THERE ARE PEOPLE LIKE YOU WHO FIGHT INTERNATIONALLY.

 

2.) STRUGGLE FOR HIGHER WAGES !

The wages of the workers are declining while the profits of the employers are increasing. The crisis of increasing prices consumes wages, and it is important to defend the livelihood of the workers. Newly hired workers have lower wages, sometimes only half or a third of those of the others. We have to improve wages. We demand “equal wages for equal work” and a general increase in wages.

 

3.) REDUCE WORK RATES, IMPROVE HEALTH. We cannot allow that while the robots deployed by capitalists destroy jobs, those who do manual labor become ill and suffer accidents because of inhumane workloads.

Repetitive work in automotive companies and increasingly stressful work rates due to the application of automated measurement systems are causing illnesses and injuries at an ever younger age. We must fight for more humane working hours to eliminate overexploitation in the workplace and ensure the health of all employees.

REDUCTION OF THE RETIREMENT AGE:

We reject the incessant attacks of capitalism upon the right to retirement. Increasing the retirement age is against progress, the future and reason. We demand the opposite. In places where illnesses are generated by high work rates, people over 50 work suffer serious attacks upon their health.

 

4.) SOCIAL COMMITMENT TO CLEAN AND SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGIES.

Strengthening the unity of the environmental and workers’ movements in the fight against the destruction of natural environments and the deterioration of health. We do not want to decide between jobs or protection of the environment – we demand both! It is not the protection of the environment that is responsible for the destruction of jobs, but the striving for profits by multinational corporations.

Through the exposure of the criminal fraud regarding exhaust fume emissions through the manipulation of the software of Diesel engines, the issue of the environment moved into the focus of discussion in society since 2015. To achieve maximum profits, leading managers of VW, Audi, Daimler and many more corporations willfully accepted the destruction of the environment and the massive impact and health burden, including thousands of mortalities. In many countries this was covered and promoted by government officials who were accomplices of the international automotive and energy monopolies.

Since the First International Conference of Auto Workers (IAWC), we are aware of the pollution caused by the automobile industry and of the serious consequences that automobiles have on the environment. We fight for more environmentally-friendly production of automobiles, for the production of zero emission cars with regard to manufacturing, operation and recycling. We do not accept that multinationals take advantage of the need for clean energy to generate a brutal restructuring of the industry at the expense of workers. We reject a new global environmental scam: WE WON’T FALL INTO YOUR POLICY OF FEAR. We think that the time has come to say “this is enough!”. The auto industry has had an exponential growth with astronomical profits and this restructuring will increase them. That is why companies have to pay for it. The working conditions of the workers must be improved. We demand the complete exposure of all criminal acts and the punishment and personal liability of the people responsible with their private property. No shifting of all of the consequences of the criminal exhaust gas fraud on the workforces and their families, on the clients, as well as on the whole society. We struggle for a mobility which is 100% free of emissions, for a sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility of the future. For electromobility on the basis of renewable energies! Extension of local public transportation and free use of it.

 

5.) WE REJECT A SUBORDINATION TO THE COMPETITION OF THE CORPORATIONS AND THE LOGIC OF PROFITS, which is also often supported by union leaders when signing wage reduction agreements or increases in flexibility that destroy workers’ living conditions, increases in work rates that destroy the health of many of us. As IAWC we reject this policy of class collaboration and demand positive solutions for those who create the wealth every day with their hands or minds in all companies.

We stand up for the strengthening of the trade unions as organizations of struggle for improving the living and working conditions of the workers and promote trade-union unity on a militant basis. (Founding Resolution of International Automotive Workers Coordination in October 2015)

 

6.) The sixth goal is to DEFEND THE FUTURE OF WORKING YOUTH. Because we are thinking of the youth, we cannot sell our jobs for ever so high severance pays, but we fight for every job! Second or third rate wages undermine the future of our young workers and new generations. The working youth is especially facing sub-contracted and temporary work without any rights. We demand regular jobs in keeping with training and permanent jobs for all young workers!

 

7.) In the auto industry and suppliers’ industry, WOMEN are underrepresented in many fields and paid worse. Besides this form of double exploitation there is a special oppression in the companies through unequal treatment of women and girls, even sexual oppression, mobbing and violence. The burden of raising children and taking care of relatives, the reproduction of the labor are mostly shifted to women. We support the promotion of women in companies and unions and closely collaborate with the international militant women's movement.

 

8.) Automotive groups are both using temporary employment agencies and subcontracting to external companies as a new form of quasi-slavery, called “precariousness”. Workers are hired by the companies in temporary employment when those jobs are, in fact, permanent positions. This way they exert great pressure on the will to work, achieving an increasingly unacceptable precariousness.

In addition, the wages and salaries of these employees lead to saving social benefits since the company declares their payment as costs and not as wages.

We demand the ELIMINATION OF TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT AND OF THE OUTSOURCING OF THE WORKFORCE and that workers be hired directly by the main companies.

 

We do not accept that while companies increase their profits through technological improvements, the consequences for workers may be dismissals and worsening conditions. For this reason, it is necessary to demand a progressive taxation related to turnover for big companies in order to provide enough money to increase mandatory social and retirement benefits and to distribute the wealth created.

Restitution of public aid received by companies that carry out collective dismissals or relocations. The ability of multinationals to decide the opening or closing of plants in every country generates a continuous blackmail on thousands of people in both parent companies and suppliers. Laws are also used to take advantage of public aid that often ends up directly in profit increases.

 

We demand that governments prevent this use of public resources by mandating the return of any aid given to companies that decide dismissals, relocations and measures against workers.

But above all, we understand that union action against companies and the governments that protect them is the best tool to prevent blackmailing and decisions against workers.

 

9.) Our 9th goal is to extend our coordination to the FIGHT AGAINST THE ADVANCE OF THE RIGHT AND THE EXTREME RIGHT IN GOVERNMENTS. Through the rightward development of governments and states, attacks on workers have massively increased. Political repression of the struggles of automotive workers and their families increased. At the same time, a change of mood has developed internationally, which has expressed itself in an increasing self-confidence and a rise of struggles. We demand a full legal right to strike in all matters ! Against oppression and division, we struggle for more democratic and political rights and freedoms in companies and unions ! For the acknowledgement of trade union rights! No inch to reactionary and fascist forces in the companies! Ban all fascist organizations!

Work together with other movements in the fight against fascism and against the rightward development of governments.

We cannot accept discrimination according to gender, ideology, race or abilities.

 

10.) FOR A SOCIAL ALTERNATIVE WITHOUT EXPLOITATION OR OPPRESSION in place of the chaos of crises and imperialist wars. We need a strategy debate among the workforce of the automotive industry about anti-capitalist, social and socialist alternatives!

Worsening living conditions of the masses of workers stand in contrast to the growing wealth of a few capitalists and international monopolies. Crises and wars lead to chaos, increasing misery and also to the destruction of the environment. This is what this capitalist system based on exploitation has to offer. The achievements we have reached, one by one, are being smashed. It is necessary to overcome this unjust system.

With the development of trade wars and an increased struggle of competition among the international automotive monopolies, the danger of war is increasing. The increasingly aggressive rivalry is accompanied by the influence of a nationalist or social-chauvinist mode of thinking among the automotive workers and their families. Instead of getting involved in power interests of national states or corporations, the workers have to reflect their class interests internationally and strengthen international class solidarity.

We do not restrict ourselves to the struggle for better wage and working conditions. We want a fulfilled, dignified and healthy life for all people in harmony with nature – a society without exploitation and oppression, because another world is possible.” (Founding Resolution of International Automotive Workers Coordination in October 2015)