UAW Murdabad

Written by The Financial Express | Updated: Sep 30 2011, 08:07am hrs
Marutis unions need to fly to Detroit to rescue workers there from the sellout by the United Auto Workers

If Marutis striking workers have the time, they need to take the first flight out to Detroit to protect the interests of auto workers in the UStheir trade union, the United Auto Workers, has just signed a deal that, seen through the eyes of Marutis trade unions, is a clear sell out. Marutis unions, along with so many beautiful people in India, are up in arms at the increasing casualisation of Indias workforcearound 40% of Marutis workforce comprises contract workers, and the figure is as high as 66% for Indias formal sector (it may employ just 25.4mn of Indias total workforce of 456mn, but it has the highest decibel power). The deal, it appears, is more about saving the US auto industry than it is about the rights of the workers thereafter all these years of holding out, the UAW has bought the logic that if the US auto industry dies, there will be no jobs. What rot!

As a result, after the deal, General Motors is on record saying that even if US auto sales fall 15% over the current weak levels, the company will still break-even now. There is something about workers getting an additional $12,500 to $25,000 over the term of the contract if GM makes a profit of at least $5bn, and 6,400 new jobs are to be created. But these are low-paying jobs and will be more than made up by getting 17,000 veterans to leave with a severance pay of $75,000 per person. Fortunately in India, trade unions still understand their job is to protect the rights of minorities (about 6% of Indias workforce is employed in the formal industry sector) and not to worry about the great unwashed.