USA: Justice for dismissed Freightliner workers

From June 6 to June 13 2008 the German network of Daimler Workers organised a solidarity tour for a fired US-worker of Freightliner, a 100% daughter of Daimler. Allen Bradley reported about the situation of Freightliner in Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart and Woerth.

Five workers at the Freightliner plant in Cleveland, N.C., are fighting to get their jobs back after the company fired 11 members of United Auto Workers Local bargaining committee for leading what it claimed was a wildcat strike on April 3, 2007 after a contract expired. Six of the workers were reinstated. Five of them are still out of a job.

The importance of the Freightliner Five struggle for trade unionists is clear. Three of the five are members of the local unionís executive board. If Freightliner management succeeds in terminating elected officials of a local, others employers will follow suit.

As always in labour struggles in the US South, racial justice is an issue. Two of the Freightliner Five are African Americans, and four of them are civil rights activists and members of the NAACP. Employers in the region have long played on racial divisions to keep the unionisation rate in North Carolina at about 3 percent - the lowest in the U.S. Thus, a victory at Freightliner would be an important boost for labourís long time goal of organizing the South.

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