January 16, 2019
The Autoworker Caravan (AWC) began in December 2008 as a rank-and-file effort by autoworkers to oppose concessions and advocate for a working-class solution to the crisis of the auto industry in the Great Recession. In spring 2009 GM and Chrysler declared bankruptcy. The Obama administration bailed them out and in doing so imposed harsh concessions on autoworkers as a condition of the bailout.
AWC supporters caravanned to Washington, D.C., to lobby for taking the auto industry into pubic ownership and converting it to producing green energy and transportation. They picketed the 2009 International Auto Show and subsequent auto shows. They demonstrated at United Auto Worker (UAW) conventions and elected delegates to conventions. They have held many public events opposing concessions and advocating a just transition away from the use of fossil fuels.
Howie Hawkins, Jill Stein and the Green Party adopted the slogan of a Green New Deal to describe their version of a just transition. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and other progressive Democrats have embraced the term. The Detroit Coalition for a Green New Deal greatly broadens the 2019 International Auto Show demonstration. See “Make Detroit the Engine of a Green New Deal”.
The AWC fight is to stop the plant closings, first of all, but also to convert the industry away from its unsustainable reliance on cars and trucks. Here’s the Autoworker Caravan for the 2019 International Auto Show.