Workers Hold Funeral Procession to Ask Fiat/Chrysler To Stop Killing American Jobs
DETROIT, Jan. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, more than 300 Teamsters rallied downtown and then marched in a mock funeral procession to the North American International Auto Show at the Cobo Center to ask Fiat/Chrysler not to kill their good jobs.
Fiat/Chrysler received $14 billion in U.S. taxpayer bailout money that was supposed to help the economy and save jobs. However, Fiat/Chrysler is now making business changes that endanger over 5,000 good jobs with health benefits.
At the rally, U.S. Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), City Councilwoman JoAnn Watson, and Detroit Rainbow/PUSH President Rev. D. Alexander Bullock spoke about Fiat/Chrysler moving work from its longtime new car delivery companies. This move may cause these carriers to go out of business, eliminating 5,000 carhaul jobs. Fiat/Chrysler has continued to move forward with these moves despite taking $14 billion in U.S. taxpayer bailout money that was supposed to help the economy and save jobs.
"Fiat/Chrysler is moving work away from the car carrier companies that have delivered its vehicles to dealerships for many years. The loss of this work could put these carriers out of business, leaving thousands without jobs," said Teamster Carhaul Division Director Fred Zuckerman. "This is after many carhaul drivers have already accepted major economic concessions. Some have seen wage cuts up to 17.5 percent."
Wayne State professor and national truck safety expert Michael Belzer also spoke about his new report, "The Low Road: Fiat/Chrysler's New Auto Transport Model Threatens Highway Safety and Economic Recovery," which concludes that Fiat/Chrysler's moves to cut-rate carhaul companies will likely lead to more accidents on our nations' roads.
At the Cobo Center, workers handed out educational leaflets to auto show attendees, and overhead an airplane circled the auto show trailing a banner that read, "Fiat/Chrysler Bailout Bandit."
"Professional car carrier companies and their workers have made sacrifices to help auto makers in these tough times," said Teamsters Joint Council 43 Executive Director Bill Black. "The small cost savings Fiat/Chrysler might generate by moving work to cut-rate carriers are greatly outweighed by the destruction of a stable carhaul industry and good middle class jobs."
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters was founded in 1903 and represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters