Sunday, January 10, 2010


Contact: Dianne Feeley, 313-843-2125; 734-272-7651 or

Contact: Frank Hammer, 313-863-3219 or


WHAT: Public rally against a “jobless recovery”

WHO: Autoworker Caravan - a group of auto workers, retirees, & supporters

WHERE: North American International Auto Show, Cobo Center , Detroit , MI

WHEN: Monday, January 11, 2010 (Press Day), 10:30 AM to Noon

The Autoworker Caravan, a rank and file organization of active and retired autoworkers and supporters, is organizing a demonstration in front of the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center on January 11, 2010 (Press Day). The rally’s central demand is for Michigan workers to be re-employed as part of a conversion to a green economy, thereby reviving “ Main St. ” - as opposed to “ Wall St. ” - and simultaneously helping to reverse the growing threat of global warming.

The 2010 Rally follows a similar demonstration organized one year ago that challenged pending plant closings and layoffs in the wake of the Wall St disaster that resulted in a steep drop in car sales. The subsequent bankruptcies, plant closings and layoffs have contributed to an official Michigan unemployment rate of 14.7% - the highest in the nation.

The solution promoted by the government, auto companies, and the UAW is to salvage what are increasingly global corporations at the expense of U.S. autoworkers’ and retirees’ livelihoods. Jobs are being eliminated as workers are whipsawed plant against plant within – and across – US borders, to strip away union-won standards in a “race to the bottom.” This is what government officials refer to as a “jobless recovery,” a concept thoroughly rejected by Michigan ’s autoworkers.

Meanwhile, there is now international recognition that countries and peoples around the world must reduce their “carbon footprint” immediately if we are to help prevent some of the worst consequences of climate change. Michigan and especially Detroit can be leaders in converting to clean energy and transportation, comparable to the rapid changes made by government to the auto industry at the beginning of WW2. Today’s autoworkers are demanding a massive infusion of government funds to convert idle plants and retrain/rehire laid-off workers to produce components for clean, renewable energy and for public transit. Old transportation systems must give way to new ones to reduce reliance on a significant source of carbon emissions – the gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs which continue to be displayed at the auto show, oblivious to the danger they pose to the planet.

“Autoworkers at this year’s rally,” according to Wendy Thompson, a retired autoworker and one of the demonstration organizers, “will be demanding JOBS, JOBS, JOBS – but not just any jobs. We want good jobs in a revitalized manufacturing sector that will help reduce global climate change.” In the words of UAW-GM retiree Frank Hammer: “President Obama committed to massive support for the devastated, auto-producing centers of the Midwest and to move forward on the environment – we intend to hold him to these promises.”

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