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There is no such thing as an "American car." The dinosaurs of the UAW, in their boycott of Mexican cars, risk extinction. Promoting such nationalistic nonsense in this global world has demonstrated them incapable of representing their members. They are a "company union."

South of the border, strikes starting two months ago in the auto parts industry have now spread to many sectors of the economy. Thousands of striking workers in Metamoros, Mexico, marched to the border, challenging U.S. workers to join them. Not a word of this has been in the corporate press. Needless to say, appeals for international labor solidarity have fallen on the deaf ears of the UAW leaders. There is no such thing as an American car.

An automobile is made up of over 20,000 parts, sometimes crossing multiple borders, making systems that are finally assembled into a car. Workers are united in a world-wide process of production but divided by nationality. The capitalists are international. General Motors makes more cars in China than here. Ford has multiple partnerships on four continents. Chrysler is owned by Fiat. German, Japanese and Korean firms build here. There is no such thing as an American car.

The UAW boycott is just a symptom of a disease that calls for its treatment by the creation of new organizations of labor. Reversing 50 years of defeat and demoralization in the labor movement begs for it.

Creation obviously requires creativity and also involves risk. There is less and less to lose.

Stephen Townsend


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