Indianapolis auto workers drive UAW executives out of meeting
By Andre Damon
17 August 2010
Workers at a General Motors stamping plant in Indianapolis, Indiana chased United Auto Workers executives out of a union meeting Sunday, after the UAW demanded workers accept a contract that would cut their wages in half.
As soon as three UAW International representatives took the podium, they were met with boos and shouts of opposition from many of the 631 workers currently employed at the plant. The officials, attempting to speak at the only informational meeting on the proposed contract changes, were forced out within minutes of taking the floor.
The incident once again exposes the immense class divide between workers and union officials, who are working actively with the auto companies to drive down wages and eliminate benefits.
A vote on the changes was originally scheduled for Monday, but was cancelled by the UAW after Sunday’s informational meeting made it clear that opposition was nearly unanimous. The new contract would, among other concessions, cut wages from an average of $29 an hour to $15.50.
General Motors, the UAW, and the state government have been working to sell the plant to JD Norman Industries, which was demanding the nearly 50 percent wage cuts as a condition for the sale. GM and the UAW are now denouncing workers for opposing the destruction of their living standards.