Fiat Chrysler workers hit with temporary layoffs across North America
1 November 2018
Six thousand workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) plants in Windsor, Canada and 5,000 workers at the company’s assembly plant in Belvidere, Illinois have been temporarily laid off since October 22. Autoworkers were given no advance notice by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union or its counterpart in Canada, Unifor, about the pending layoffs and production stoppages.
Over 3,000 workers at FCA transmission plants in Kokomo and Tipton, Indiana who have also been on temporary layoff since October 15 will now be out of work at least an additional two weeks. After keeping workers in the dark, UAW Local 685 officials are holding informational meetings today to “dispel layoff rumors, discuss the actual layoff process and answer questions,” according to a leaflet that workers sent to the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter. The local has spent the last three months ignoring a unanimous strike mandate by transmission workers over more than 200 unresolved grievances, the majority over health and safety.
Statements from FCA US, FCA Canada, and Unifor Local 444 President David Cassidy, all say that the layoffs are needed to “adjust inventories.” In comments that could have been delivered by any corporate manager, Cassidy told the Windsor Star, “Inventory adjustment is nothing new in our industry…we often see this in the fall and at Christmas or just after. Sales can be up and down at those times of year.”
It is also, “nothing new” for autoworkers to be strung along, lied to and sold out by well-paid union bureaucrats who oppose any collective action to defend the jobs and livelihoods of the workers they falsely claim to represent. Autoworkers at BVA were originally…