IMF's Automotive Working Group Tackles Precarious Work Problem

November 16, 2010, 9:00 AM EST

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At a meeting of the Automotive Working Group of the International Metalworkers' Federation in Detroit, hosted by the UAW, delegates debated issues of international capital and trade, particularly as it related to a possible free trade agreement between Korea and the United States.

The event also marked an important shift for the UAW, who committed to greater participation in the global workers' federation.

Delegates from 13 auto manufacturing countries, including delegates from the CAW, passed a resolution calling for an end to precarious work at a meeting November 8 to 9.

"Employers claim that they need the flexibility that comes with the use of non-standard work arrangements, but workers and society as a whole pay a tremendous price for the precarious work created by such arrangements. Precarious work means work without security in the broadest sense. Precarious workers are often denied union representation, decent wages, job security, stable hours and benefits," the resolution states.

Members of the IMF's Automotive Working Group committed to end precarious work through all available means including enforcing and strengthening collective bargaining agreements and by organizing to build union density. They also committed to hold elected officials accountable for ensuring all workers are provided fair pay, decent wages and equal treatment.

CAW President Ken Lewenza, CAW Local 707 President Gary Beck, Local 222 President Chris Buckley, Local 444 President Rick Laporte and assistant to the national president Bob Chernecki attended the meeting. Lewenza stressed that precarious work is a growing concern among workers in all economic sectors including the automotive industry.

"We must raise awareness of this problem, which undermines fair pay and decent jobs for all workers," Lewenza said. "Whether you have full time work or part time or are unemployed, this is an issue that affects you and your family. Everyone needs to speak out and take action on this issue."

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