What You Can Do To Help Stop an American Tragedy at American Axle  

Going out on strike is almost always the last resort used against owners and management. It’s the last resort because it means that the workers go without work. Let me repeat that so it can sink in...

Workers go without work.

Do you know what that means? It means:

You make no income.

You pay no bills.

You don’t put food on the table.

You fall behind on your mortgage.

And for those really lucky ones, you watch as your marriage crumbles.

This is what a strike looks like and hell, you might even get arrested

Don’t take my word for it about strikes, ask the Detroit Free Press and the Elliot family

The reality of the strike at American Axle & Manufacturing Inc. has set in at the Elliott household.

No more Friday night dinners out.

Summer baseball for two of Doug Elliott's sons Bryce and Brandon is out of the question.

So are driver's ed classes for Bryce, who turns 15 in June.

Doug Elliott, 49, of Warren has been on strike for nearly two weeks. Every other day, he spends four hours on the picket line.

Doug Elliott is among 3,650 UAW-represented workers at American Axle who walked off the job, protesting the company's proposals for steep wage and benefit cuts that the UAW says the company had not justified.

So, while you complained about the treatment of a candidate on this site (and no, I'm not linking to any of those diaries, don't even ask me to do it), you’ve turned your backs on your fellow Americans who can’t make ends meet. Whose company is offering to keep them employed by cutting their wages in half.

Let me say that again,

American Axle is offering a 50% reduction in wages

How many of you could absorb that kind of a loss?

How many marriages would survive a 50% reduction in pay?

How many mortgages?

What would you do?

This is an American tragedy. But what is most disheartening to me, that I don't think many on this site even knew about this American tragedy.

But I don't like to paint a pessimistic picture here, I believe that we can help. That you, everyone one of you or all one of you reading this can help. But, how?

What You Can Do.

Seriously, there is something you can do, here are just a few suggestions.

Write your LOCAL papers a letter to the editor.

American Axle is a national company. The more local press, the better. Local stories are the ones that matter because all things are local. And it's these small local stories that make it into the major stories and this should be a major story for every American.

Call your local Radio and TV broadcasters

Ask them what they’ve done on this story. Let them know you want more info and you want to know how a family can survive on a 50% cut in wages.

Blog about it on your site.

Joe's Union Review
Union Review
Future of the Unions
World Socialist Web Site

let's add your voice to this short list of active American Axle UAW strike bloggers. And if you post a vid to Youtube on the strike, let me know so I can link to it as well.

And probably the most important suggestion I have,

Write and call the UAW and let them know you support the strikers.

In case you need an incentive, remember the Elliots, they’re only one family, but there are thousands more just like them:

Pattie and Doug Elliott say they understand that some concessions might be necessary. But cutting his wages in half, they say, is too much to handle.

"If I started out at $14 an hour, I would be basing my life on $14 an hour," he said.

Considering the prospect of losing half his earnings, paired with rising prices for gas and food, Doug Elliott is scared that he'll lose his house.

To help out, Bryce started packing a sandwich and chips, instead of spending $3 to $4 a day to buy a hot lunch at school.

Bryce said he is doing that "so we could save more money to buy necessities ... so we wouldn't cut back as much."

Meanwhile, the Elliotts are figuring out more ways to save, as the strike goes on.

"I just want ..." Pattie Elliott said, her voice trailing off.

Her husband finished her sentence: "...want this to be over."

And another family, from comments on Joe’s Union Review


My husband is an employee of AAM. It is simple, we CANT take a pay cut like that. We wont be able to afford our home. Forget about our standard of living. They are speaking is a pay cut to $11.40 an hour. That is over a 60% cut. He started there 14 yrs ago at $12.50. Now, 11.40??? Are u kidding? And people think this is justified? Yes, AAM made money and maybe it wasn't what they hoped for but they need to remember all the buy outs that they paid out last yr. Buyouts that aren't going to be repeated this year. Those people are gone so inturn so is that expense.

My family has already taken a 75% cut in my pay. I am a Realtor here in Michigan. I have started a second job to try and come up with the difference. We CANT take another pay cut like that. I refuse to stand for it and am willing to stand beside my husband and all the AAM employees and fight for what is rightfully ours and what my husband was promised 14 yrs ago when he started at AAM.

I expect better from Dick Dauch. All those times he told us he was for American Jobs, Jobs in Detroit, Keeping our original 5 plants and always stating how he was going to be there for us. What happened to all of that? I'll tell you...GREED!
March 4, 2008 12:47 AM

To show your support contact the UAW.

You can also contact UAW locals 262 and 235 as well as Region 1.

Local 262
LIVONIA, Michigan 48150-1037
Phone #: 734-464-2190

Local 235
Address: 1840 HOLBROOK ST
Detroit, Michigan 48212-3442
Phone #: 313-873-7250

Region 1
27800 George Merrelli Drive
Warren, MI 48092
TEL: (586) 427-9200
FAX: (586) 427-7142


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