From Brazil and Mexico to South Africa and Malaysia, international labor solidarity is aiding the UAW’s fight to reverse the global race to the bottom.

by Jeff Schuhrke, In These Times

As the first-ever simultaneous strike at General Motors, Ford and Stellantis continues, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union is being cheered on not only by a majority of Americans, but also by much of the international labor movement.

Over the past two weeks, the UAW has received messages of solidarity from worker organizations in multiple countries, including a letter from the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and an email from Malaysia’s National Union of Transport Equipment & Allied Industries Workers — both of which represent autoworkers in their respective countries.

UAW Strikers with signs in front of General Motors Headquarters, Downtown Detroit

The world is watching, and the people are on our side,” UAW President Shawn Fain said last Friday. ​From South Africa to Malaysia, we continue to receive letters and messages of strength and support, encouraging our members to hold the line and win big — and we will.”

Such global solidarity is not simply a boost to the strikers’ morale, but is also a critically strategic part of the UAW’s fight to reverse the decades-long race to the bottom, where multinational corporations like the Big Three automakers move production to wherever they can exploit workers the most.

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