“They are trying to outsource to cut costs and pit us against each other”
Allison Transmission workers speak out on UAW-management collaboration
George Kirby and Shannon Jones
3 November 2018
Workers at Indianapolis, Indiana-based Allison Transmission are seeking support for their fight against outsourcing of jobs, deteriorating working conditions and blatant attempts by the United Auto Workers union to bolster management and suppress workers’ grievances.
Allison Transmission Holdings, the largest global manufacturer of commercial automatic transmissions, reported for the third quarter of 2018 a $295 million adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), up from the 2017 figure of $241 million. EBITDA is a metric used to calculate a company’s earning potential. Through the third quarter, Allison Transmission showed a $1.09 billion adjusted EBITDA and is expecting a profitable fourth quarter.
In a conversation with World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter reporters, Allison Transmission workers voiced their concern over deteriorating conditions at the company in spite of growing profits.
Ten years since the financial crash of 2008, major auto companies such as General Motors have handed out billions to shareholders instead of restoring concessions extracted from workers or investing in new production. This pattern has been followed by Allison Transmission, formerly part of GM and now owned by the hedge funds Carlyle Group and Onex Corp.
During this period, Allison Transmission has increased subcontracting, such as employing janitorial staff hired by ABM Industries, which typically pays wages in the range of $10 an hour.
A worker noted, “They are giving ABM the right to do our work. They do a lot of janitorial work…