Solidarity with striking Opel workers in Germany
The General Motors bosses have announced that they will cut 12,000 jobs in Europe – over a quarter of its workforce. They have launched a full scale offensive, saying that the only alternative to these job losses are wage cuts of between 25% and 30%. Workers at Saab in Sweden, Vauxhall in Britain, and Opel in Germany and Belgium, will be confronted either with unemployment and a life on the dole or working for less pay. These cuts will especially hit workers in Germany, as the GM management wants to down one Opel works completely and lay off 10,000 of the 33,000 workers it currently employs in Germany.
The Opel workers in the factory in Bochum, Germany, are giving the right answer to the bosses: strike! Since Thursday night, October 14th, they stopped production and have blockaded the factory gates to prevent components being transported to other GM factories in Europe. This action has been organised from below without any active support of the trade union leadership. The Bochum workers say that negotiations should only be started after a statement by the GM leadership that redundancies are excluded and that no factory will be closed down.
The Bochum Opel workers are calling on other Opel and GM workers to join in the struggle. On Tuesday, 19th October, a European day of action organised by the trade unions will take place. But this must not be a symbolic problem marking the end of the struggle but only the beginning!
The Opel workers need international solidarity. The committee for a workers’ international wants to help in organising this.
We call on trade union activists internationally:
- Inform your workmates and trade union branches about the struggle in Germany!
- Put pressure on the trade unions to organise effective solidarity actions
- Send messages of support to the Opel workers (you can do that via the cwi in Germany – send the messages to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be passed on)