Don't blame UAW workers

September 4, 2010

It seems that all the pundits from Rush Limbaugh to the World Socialist Website have entered the fray concerning the fate of the Indianapolis stamping plant, while the real culprits escape scrutiny and feign innocence.

Before calling them out, however, I would like to exonerate the loyal and hard working members of United Auto Workers Local 23, who look on the public disdain with incredulity, as if they have not quite yet conceded enough. To demand that they act against their own self interests to benefit a modern-day Andrew Carnegie wannabe is akin to asking every American who could possibly retire to do so, whether or not they are financially ready to step aside, in order to lower the unemployment rate. It is irresponsible and inane.

As a third-generation autoworker at the plant with 75 years of service between myself, father and grandfather, each have witnessed the decline from 5,000-plus employees to the current 551 seniority employees.

What precipitated the decline?

The truth is the very aforementioned culprits who assail the workers exercising our right to freely choose who we will or will not work for, all the while driving a vehicle made by a foreign-owned company. The entire blame for the current debacle lies with those who, like our erstwhile mayor, decided to purchase 85 Toyotas in lieu of the Chevrolet Malibu, regardless of the fact that the Indianapolis stamping plant made a major portion thereof.

General Motors has closed its Pittsburgh, Grand Rapids, Mansfield, Pontiac and Indianapolis stamping plants as a direct response to the falling demand of American-owned companies’ vehicles, concomitant with a rise in foreign-owned companies’ cars and trucks. If you want to know who is to blame for the latest American factory failure, look no further than you and your neighbors’ driveways.

Donny Jones      

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