“The union and Lear must think we are stupid”
Indiana Lear auto parts workers vote down UAW sellout contract second time
2 December 2018
Saturday evening, United Auto Workers Local 2335 announced that Lear Corporation auto parts workers in Hammond and Portage, Indiana voted to overwhelmingly reject a company- and union-backed deal for a second time. The ballot results were 311 against and 155 in favor, resulting in a “no” vote of approximately 67 percent, or over two to one.
“We rejected this deal because it was the same thing as before, nothing changed,” a worker at the Portage plant told the World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter, reflecting the broad opposition to the contract. “The union and Lear must think we are stupid.”
The vote is an act of tremendous courage by Lear workers, who have again defied the union’s attempts to ram through the deal. It is an indication of the growing determination to fight back among the working class more broadly, after decades of concessions imposed by the companies with the assistance of the trade unions.
While the “no” vote is welcome and entirely deserved, a warning must be made: the company and the UAW will respond by intensifying their efforts to force workers to accept their terms.
No time must be lost! Workers should immediately initiate discussions to elect and organize rank-and-file factory committees across their plants, independent of the pro-corporate UAW, in order to carry forward the momentum of the “no” vote and prepare the groundwork for launching a genuine struggle.
Workers voted down Lear’s first contract proposal in October. While UAW Local 2335 officials claimed the agreement would “help us…