Disgruntled Autoworker # 22 December 05'
Traitors of the People
The latest darling of the corporations, Robert ‘Steve’ Miller, has a new moniker. In recent newspaper articles he is being referred to as ‘The Oracle” of Delphi Corp. As a fan of the Matrix series, I find it ironic that this killer of the American dream and middle class standard of living is bestowed this title when the Oracle in the Matrix helped the lead characters fight for the good of mankind.
The so-called Oracle of Delphi may not be out to destroy mankind, but he is out to destroy the unions to save the Corporations from their own selfishness and greed. If that means destroying the standard of living millions of Americans enjoy because of sacrifices our Union’s forefathers made, so be it.
What does he care? He has the millions he pocketed off the dead American dreams of workers at Bethlehem Steel, United Airlines and others. And big deal he cut his salary to $1.00. He said, “I don’t want to have to apologize for making a lot of money while I’m having to tell these people what’s going to happen to their lives.” Is this supposed to make the workers of Delphi, or him, feel better when he steals their pensions and turns their lives upside down? I guess he thinks we forgot about his $3 million signing bonus.
If he never makes another penny in his life, he could still live quite comfortably, as could his children and children’s children without ever having to lift a finger for the rest of their lives. They are no more deserving of the American dream than the rest of us. Like countless times before, he stands to make millions when Delphi emerges from bankruptcy. So sacrificing his salary is nothing more than grandstanding.
Personally, I prefer the name Delphi’s union members gave him, ‘The Hatchet.’ He earned this name by rescuing financially troubled Bethlehem Steel and United Airlines. His modus operandi was not to fire the mismanagers, but to attack the workers responsible for building the corporations. The workers had union representation, but their union’s leaders were compromised by Joint Partnerships with the corporations that undermined democracy and solidarity, thereby eliminating any threat from the shop floor.
The Hatchet’s reputation preceded him to Delphi. When he said, “I wasn’t hired to take Delphi into bankruptcy,” union members knew he was a lying. He had said the same thing before taking Bethlehem Steel into bankruptcy. Three months after taking the helm, on October 8th he took Delphi into bankruptcy.
And true to form, The Hatchet’s not firing the mismanagers responsible for Delphi’s financial problems, in fact, he’s throwing gross amounts of money at them while blaming union member’s hard earned wages, benefits and pensions for the corporation’s problems.
“They pursued the American dream and globalization swept over them,” The Hatchet said in a recent news conference. And, “There is a certain degree of denial here. It is very difficult to be the bearer of bad news. But the only way to find the answer is to first understand the problem.”
This isn’t about autoworkers being over run by the global economy, it’s about the selfishness and greed of the corporations and saving the asses of the grossly overpaid fat bastards who run them into the ground. To save face with shareholders, the mismanagers hired The Hatchet to clean up their mess, a man who makes his living destroying the lives of innocent workers.
Autoworkers understand the problem all to well. Its people like The Hatchet and the fat bastards who are the problem. There isn’t a man on the planet worth anywhere near a million dollars a year, but yet mismanagers are bleeding the corporations dry with multi-million dollar salaries, pensions, stock options, and perks that they think they deserve. They are in denial here, not the workers.
Several of Delphi’s union members are meeting almost weekly to discuss a strategy to preserve their standard of living despite The Hatchet’s threats that, according to a recent Detroit Free Press article, “Any plant that wants to be at the top of our plant closure list should engage in industrial action as a way of sending that message.” Typical response from a spoiled rich punk, if he can’t have his way, he’s going to take his toys and move to Mexico or China. Someone boot him in the right direction.
In the meantime Delphi’s UAW members have decided to Work to Rule. A strategy that will affect the flow of parts by doing only what the job calls for, no more no less, and by refusing to work overtime so the company can’t stockpile parts in the event of a strike on January 20th. The day a bankruptcy Judge will decide if he’ll null and void union contracts.
Shortly after members posted their strategy on website’s futureoftheunion.com and uawndm.org, UAW President Gettelfinger was quoted in the press as endorsing Work to Rule like it was his idea. He sold-out 400 members in Kentucky, pitted local against local for inferior contracts, pitted worker against worker by implementing two tiered wages in our plants, and pitted workers against retirees in the recent round of concessions with GM, consequently Gettelfinger and the Traitors who occupy UAW Solidarity House have lost the respect of the membership. They have no concept of unionism and should therefore be ousted.
GM’s CEO Rick Wagoner recently said in the Detroit News, “If we all act in our own self-interest, any one of the three of us could blow the place up. That doesn’t sound like a winning strategy. I would challenge you to tell me how that’s better for Delphi, better for the UAW or better for General Motors.” He answered his own challenge. He said, “And the answer is, it’s not.”
There is a forth element GM’s overpaid stuffed shirt didn’t consider in his equation, the membership of the UAW. The Traitors stopped representing them when they entered into multi-million dollar Joint Partnerships with the Corporations, thereby eliminating them from the democratic and decision-making processes within their International and Local unions. Therefore Delphi’s members are on their own.
From the shop floor Wagoner’s statement has a different perspective. Thanks to autoworkers, GM has several interests, foreign and domestic that will sustain it should the proverbial shit hit the fan. The Hatchet has his signing bonus, and he promised millions to the executives who drove Delphi into bankruptcy in the first place. So if the shit hits the fan, they all walk away millionaires, even if it is to Mexico or China.
Then there are the corporate partners, the UAW’s Traitors who looked the other way for twenty five years while the Big 3 violated Secured Employment Levels and eliminated over a million members. And typical of past behavior, they endorsed concessions with GM that hit workers and retirees in the pocket while they themselves gave up nothing, which allows them to walk away winners too.
It’s Delphi’s 33,000 workers who end up being the losers, the fourth element Wagoner didn’t consider in his equation. They too have the power to blow the place up. And who would blame them when The Hatchet’s already bought and paid for Judge null and voids their contract and robs them of everything they worked their whole lives for? GM, The Hatchet, and the UAW’s Traitors are acting in their own self-interest, so why not the workers? The Hatchet’s not the only one who can throw a hissy fit, and the switch.
Something else that raises suspicions is that Wagoner and The Hatchet have repeatedly stated that they believe a strike at Delphi is unlikely. Why? What do they know? Are they setting the stage for the UAW’s Traitors to be the heroes with a last minute counter offer of $18 an hour and slightly better benefits and pensions, thereby counting on the laws of diminishing return to appease the membership? Considering the $10’s of millions GM pays into Jointness annually wasn’t put on the table during GM/UAW concessions, it’s obvious that despite their saber rattling, the Traitors are still embedded in the Big 3’s pocket.
Some workers believe GM set these series of events in motion years ago when they co-opted already corrupt union leaders with the promise of million of dollars to enter into Joint Partnerships. When members began making headway in gaining Joint Funds disclosure, GM stepped up its plan to break the union by spinning Delphi off, which was purposely mismanaged, hence the bonuses, so The Hatchet could be brought in to manipulate the legal system and gut the union, thereby starting the domino effect throughout the Big 3.
Speculation in the Press and on Wall Street is that when The Hatchet’s through destroying lives at Delphi, he’ll move on to GM. Stressed out autoworkers nationwide are intently watching this situation and agonizing over its outcome. We didn’t devote years of our lives to help build up the corporation’s assets so over compensated fat bastards could dump our pensions and commit economic violence against us.
The selfish actions of these Traitors of the people are breading terrorist right here in America. Foreign terrorist will be the least of our problems if they’re not stopped. If there is anyone to blame for this attack on the membership and America’s workers, it’s the corrupt Traitors who look the other way while we’re repeatedly brutalized. The membership needs to find a way to oust them, physically if necessary.
In Solidarity, Doug Hanscom