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Jerry Kirk

‘Reopen Wage Contracts,’GM Workers Say

(6 August 1946)

From The Militant, Vol. 10 No. 33, 17 August 1946, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

FLINT, Mich., Aug. 6 – CIO United Automobile Workers General Motors Sub-Council of Region 1C, representing 65,000 GM workers in this area, at its last meeting declared itself in favor of reopening wage contracts and for an upward sliding scale of wages to meet rising living costs.

The Sub-Council recommended to the UAW International Executive Board that it “reopen wage contracts to regain the losses suffered during the war and postwar period by the working people.” It was also proposed that “a clause for an upward sliding scale of wages be inserted in each union contract.”

GM locals in the Sub-Council are Oldsmobile and Fisher Body in Lansing; Fisher Body, Buick, AC Spark Plug and Chevrolet in Flint.

Pete Schumacker, chairman of the Region 1C Sub-Council and member of the AC Spark Plug local executive board, told this reporter:

“GM workers in our region are only averaging three and four days a week of work. No worker can support his family on the wages he is now getting with prices soaring out of reach. With tax rebates General Motors corporation can profitably keep workers employed at a minimum.”

Schumacker also said:

“Inflation is here and we need some wage guarantees to meet it. A sliding scale of wages in every union contract will go a long way towards solving one of our problems. The UAW should take action on this immediately.”

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