The Multinational Monitor


G L O B A L   N E W S W A T C H

General Motors' Workers of the World Unite

"If General Motors wants good labor relations, they will have to pay a price," said Herman Rebhan, general secretary of the International Metalworkers' Federation, at a meeting of GM workers from 18 countries held in Dearborn, Michigan in late June.

The conference formulated a response to the international expansion of the company, which poses "great threats to many of the gains" organized workers have won in the past, according to a conference declaration. The GM employees pledged to "work jointly and separately for substantial reductions of work time; ending of all -compulsory overtime, and great reduction of all overtime; earlier retirements with no reductions in benefits; harmonization of wages and labor costs to the company according to the highest level in the GM empire; and establishment of a worldwide uniform code of health and safety practices and standards."

GM was unruffled by the meeting and the workers' demands. Though the company did not respond directly, Bruce MacDonald, public relations officer for the corporation, said that GM did not see the actions of its employees as a threat. "We will deal with the unions individually; where they are, and where they are represented," MacDonald said.

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