International workers’ contacts within the DC group

Some members of the Mercedes Coordination were particularly active in trying to organize an information exchange with colleagues of the former Mercedes plants in Brazil. Since the eighties, they have established regular exchange programs between Brazil and Germany. These have created a stable and lasting relationship between colleagues of both countries. Contacts between Germany and both Turkey and Spain have occurred more sporadically.

When the mega DaimlerChrysler fusion was announced in spring of 1998, the Mercedes Coordination, with the support of TIE, tried to broaden its contacts with the USA and Canada. In the year 2000, representatives of the Dutch Nedcar plant joined the Coordination — Nedcar, Mitsubishi owned until then, will become part of DC in 2004. In November 1998, unionists from Chrysler plants in Detroit/USA and members of the factory commission of Mercedes Benz Sao Bernardo/Brazil attended a Mercedes Coordination seminar together. Afterwards, the US and Brazilian delegations visited different Mercedes-Benz plants in Germany and entered into a dialogue with the respective workers’ representatives about the different local problem settings. Further steps followed. In spring of 1999, a group of about 20 German DaimlerChrysler workers and a representative of the Brazilian colleagues paid Chrysler plants in the US and Canada an exchange visit. In autumn of the same year, a somewhat smaller group of German colleagues travelled to Atlanta to discuss the organizing efforts in the new DC plant in Tuscaloosa/Alabama. In November 2000, 12 colleagues of the Coordination undertook a two-week-journey to Brazil. They visited several new modular plants which had grown "in the green field". In a concluding seminar they discussed the problems of the new production methods, such as modular production, and concrete possibilities for international cooperation. From 2001 till today, other exchanges of German and Brazilian representatives to the US and Canada followed; Brazilian and US union colleagues travelled to Germany.

Aims of the DC Coordination

This is to show that the DaimlerChrysler Coordination — with the assistance of TIE Germany, and also through the TIE-offices in the US and in Brazil - has nationally and internationally achieved its aim of establishing regular workers’ contacts and developing an internationalism of the rank-and-file. Over the years the group grew from a simple information exchange into a real international cooperation. As such, the forum aims to:

  • internationally deepen contacts and information exchange between the workers of DC. One out of many activities was the creation of the DCexchange mailing list in Portuguese, German and English. There are also plans for an international workers’ journal;
  • develop common union positions and strategies concerning issues like outsourcing, new production concepts, health and safety, racism, sexism, repression of union organisations and activists in the DC group etc.;
  • organize concrete solidarity actions between the workers. For example, the Coordination supported the fight for a factory commission in Juiz de Fora & Campinas/Brazil and the organizing of the plant in Alabama in the US South, and tried to create public attention for these issues;
  • organize action against the strategy of pitting the workers of different plants against each other;
  • establish a common education platform for the colleagues in different countries.

Car network

DaimlerChrysler Coordination

Rail network

Rail Sans Frontière

Chemical network

What is the DaimlerChrysler Coordination?

International workers’ contacts within the DC group

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