December 29, 2010 - No. 225
Essar Steel Algoma
Concessions Are Not Solutions!
Essar Steel Algoma
• Concessions Are Not Solutions!
• A Disaster for the Community and Nation that
Can Be Averted
• More Than Meets the Eye - K.C. Adams
Nazi Connections of the Anglo-American Imperialists - Dougal
• Electrolux's Nazi Connections
• Leading U.S. Nazi Rocket Scientist Dies
Essar Steel Algoma
Concessions Are Not Solutions!
Just before the holiday
season, the foreign monopoly Essar Steel issued a dictate laying off
400 steelworkers at the Algoma mill in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The
400 lost livelihoods represent 16 per cent of the active membership of
United Steelworkers' Local 2251.
In words reminiscent of U.S. Steel's anti-Canadian
excuse for its recent shutdown of Stelco's last active blast furnace in
Hamilton, the global monopoly Essar cited "bad market conditions" for
the layoffs. An Essar spokesperson told the local media, "These layoffs
will occur over the next several months as we
look to size the organization and production schedules to reflect the
reality of the steel markets... We are confident Essar Steel Algoma
successfully weather this market cycle and we look forward to welcoming
employees back as order volumes and steel prices improve."
TML denounces the arrogance of this global
monopoly that views Canadian steelworkers as objects to be used when
expedient and cast aside as "unbearable costs" when the company faces
"bad market conditions." This is unjust and should be illegal. If
"market conditions, order volumes and steel
prices" are a problem then they should be addressed and corrected.
Canadians have rights by virtue of being human and one of those rights
is to security of employment. Turning workers lives upside down will
not improve "market conditions, order volumes and steel prices." Those
problems have to be tackled directly
and if the foreign monopolies operating in Canada are incapable of
dealing with these problems then the government must intervene and
solve the problems on behalf of the people and their economy.
TML is convinced that these economic problems
can be solved but that monopoly right is blocking their resolution.
Essar complains of lack of orders yet steel plants in Canada under all
conditions supply less steel than apparent demand. Why do our
steelworkers have to lose their livelihoods when
the reality is that even while running at full capacity, existing
Canadian mills, including Stelco Hamilton and Essar Algoma, could not
fill Canada's demand for steel? This is not just and steelworkers and
their allies need an explanation as to why Canada does not have a
self-reliant diverse steel industry that can meet
Canada's demand for steel and a resolution to this situation. This is
our economy; it should serve to satisfy the needs and well-being of
Canadians and contribute to the same internationally. Unless the
workers who produce the wealth have a say in resolving these problems
and Canadian governments exercise their
social responsibility to turn steelworkers' say into a legal right, all
the actions which shift onto the workers' backs the burden of making
competitive on world markets should be rejected. Canadian workers are
sick and tired of being objects of abuse by these global monopolies
that toss them away as so much "excess
cost" either laid off because of "bad market conditions" or thrown into
an insecure retirement.
TML also notes that barely five months ago,
Essar Steel demanded and received various concessions in USW Local
2251's labour contract eliminating the existing defined-benefit pension
plan for new hires and on other issues related to "shared services"
within its global empire. To rationalize this
unjust attack on young Canadian workers who will be denied a pension
plan and possible employment because of Algoma jobs going elsewhere in
Essar's global empire, the monopoly said it needed these concessions
"to ensure our competitive performance in an increasingly consolidated,
global steel industry. In
terms of our competitive advantage, no other competitor is prevented
from using the economy of shared services to reduce its costs. What we
seek is a level playing field."
These concessions have not stopped "the bad market
conditions, high prices for steel raw material and low steel prices."
These concessions were not and will never be solutions to the economic
problems the Canadian economy faces because they are not even intended
to be solutions. Even outright slave conditions
would not provide Essar Steel "a level playing field" because the
striving of monopolies for domination has nothing to do with "even
playing fields." The concessions demanded are merely ways to transfer
wealth from steelworkers and their communities to the global steel
empires. The monopolies and the concessions
they demand are a block to finding real solutions to the problems
Canadians and their economy face.
Workers are not "costs"! They are the producers of
wealth and providers of services! They have rights by virtue of being
human! Denounce and demand the reversal of the layoffs and concessions
forced on Algoma steelworkers!
Concessions Are Not Solutions!
Whose Economy? Our Economy!
A Disaster for the Community and Nation
that Can Be Averted
The Swedish imperialists
have announced the closure of a productive appliance factory in
L'Assomption, Quebec and the transfer of its production capacity to a
new plant in Memphis, Tennessee. The entire community near Montreal is
reeling in dismay and anger at this outrageous attack. Not just the
the 1,300 Electrolux workers affected have been turned upside down but
those of thousands more who depend directly on supplying the factory
with goods and services and transporting the means of production to the
factory and the finished product to customers. The community itself
suffer the loss of taxes and the Electrolux
and other workers' claims on added-value that would normally go into
the community through participation and spending on public and private
facilities such as schools, daycare centres, recreation facilities,
restaurants and stores. The Quebec nation and Canada lose a prominent
manufacturing facility that adds enormous
value to the economy, funding social programs and public services. The
actual and potential added-value from manufacturing appliances is torn
from the country and to add insult to injury those same Electrolux
appliances must now be bought as imports taking yet more value out of
the Canadian and Quebec economies.
This sudden anti-Quebec, anti-Canadian announcement
exposes the danger of free trade agreements and being ensnared within
the imperialist system of states. The Swedish imperialists control the
Quebec and Canadian distribution network for Electrolux appliances.
Workers and salaried personnel at the L'Assomption
factory could very easily carry on production of appliances but
Electrolux would block their distribution through its sales network. To
circumvent this blockade, a new brand and distribution network
concentrating on Quebec and Canada would have to be set up and
Electrolux restricted from distributing its appliances
made abroad within the country. This could only be done with legislated
action by both the Quebec and Canadian governments declaring that the
factory and machinery must remain as productive assets of the nation
and that the Swedish imperialists by dint of their nation-wrecking and
refusal to produce appliances
within Canada for the Canadian market have lost the right to sell their
products in the country. Such pro-social actions by the Quebec and
Canadian governments would confirm their commitment to nation-building,
the well-being of the people and general interests of society. An
effective Workers' Opposition is required
to ensure it does take place. It can be done.
This is an opportunity for the federal government to
prove in practice that it wants to build a Canada that includes the
Quebec nation, and that both the Canadian and Quebec governments have
the political will to defend our sovereign right to have a vibrant
self-reliant economy of which a basic feature must be
The Electrolux workers are not alone; they are flesh and
blood of the Quebec nation and Canada. Together the workers from coast
to coast can stop this nation-wrecking!
Manufacturing Yes! Nation-Wrecking No!
Sovereignty Yes! Annexation No!
More Than Meets the Eye
On the face of what Electrolux officials have said
publicly, the transfer of appliance production from Quebec to Memphis,
Tennessee does not make economic sense. It appears also to have been
concocted fairly recently. Something more is involved, most probably
imperialist politics. From what was said in the
media, Electrolux bought the factory in L'Assomption only eight years
ago and retooled
it to make Electrolux appliances. The means of production are still in
their early years producing appliances although the structure itself
may be old as it dates back decades producing other commodities under
different ownership. The $40 million in pay-the-rich
enticements offered by City of Memphis and the county are customary
imperialism and primarily involve the surrounding infrastructure, land
and worker training. The state of Tennessee has offered $92 million for
unspecified benefits, possibly the recruitment and training of workers.
Those pay-the-rich grants and
loans must be raised through public bonds, as the local and state
governments do not have any ready cash on hand. The $40 million plus
the state's $92 million will not pay for the facility itself, which
will cost several hundreds of millions of dollars. Those pay-the-rich
handouts although large are much less than
the overall costs of building a production facility encompassing 1,250
workers, which must be built from scratch, the costs involved to move
all the machinery or buy new machinery, introduce inexperienced workers
to factory production and set up a new supply chain and distribution
network. Electrolux also says
it will take a charge of $124 million just to close the L'Assomption
factory. Imagine if that amount alone were put into the existing plant
and machinery. All the features of modern production, which must be
built anew in Tennessee already exist at the current site in Quebec
including importantly an experienced
workforce. In addition, Quebec offers cheap industrial rates for
electricity and water. Electrolux boasts that the move will centralize
production in the middle of its biggest overseas market. But that is
nonsense. Memphis relies on a long barge
route down the Mississippi River as a water outlet.
Montreal is on the St. Lawrence Seaway with easy container ship access
to all the large cities on the eastern seaboard, and inland through the
Great Lakes to Toronto, Detroit, Chicago and Duluth or Thunder Bay for
transfer to the west, not to speak of far cheaper, easier and closer
transportation to and from Europe.
Owners of Capital Rate of
Claim on Added-Value
The rate of claim on added-value could not be that much
different between Quebec and Memphis even if Tennessee is a former
slave state with little union organizing at this time. Comparing the
claims of Quebec workers with projected
claims by workers in Memphis, the difference is not that large and, if
everything is considered, possibly equal. The difference in the
proposed wage scale is around $6 an hour less in Memphis. However, in
Quebec, workers have the benefit of public healthcare, which means they
do not expect the monopoly to assist
on that front at least not to the extent it has become necessary in the
U.S. Other social programs and public services are greater in Quebec,
which again lowers the pressure on monopolies to supply or pay directly
for those services. The imperialists are now forcing down the standard
of living all across Canada so
the Electrolux owners of capital know there are other ways to
accomplish the aim of raising their rate of claim on added-value rather
than simply moving the plant. The point is that while the established
standard of living and rate of claim on added-value are important when
imperialists consider investments, more
is at play here than meets the eye. If it were merely a matter of lower
claims by workers, Electrolux would have gone to Mexico where not just
workers' claims but costs of production as well can be lower.
Resurgence of U.S. Ties
with European Nazi Imperialists
In the last few years, there appears to be a new
concentration of German manufacturing in the former slave states. This
German monopoly capital, which has close links with Swedish capital
such as Electrolux, has historical significance as
Nazi monopoly capital that the U.S. imperialists rescued and
resurrected from the verdict and ashes of the Second World War. Even
the Nazi names are similar: ThyssenKrupp, Volkswagen, Siemens, Wacker
Chemie, Electrolux. German along with Dutch (Royal Dutch Shell) and
Swedish monopoly capital have already
overtaken UK capital as the largest direct investor in the U.S. closely
followed by Japanese monopoly capital, which similarly is U.S.-rescued
and resurrected militarist capital from WWII and forms the basis for
the U.S./Japan military alliance, the biggest threat to the peoples of
East Asia, including the Japanese
Examples of the surge of direct investment by German
monopoly capital in the former slave states include ThyssenKrupp's new
$5 billion integrated steel mill just opened in Mobile, Alabama.
Significantly, this is the first integrated steel mill built in the
U.S. in decades. Volkswagen is building a multi-billion
dollar vehicle manufacturing plant in Tennessee. Siemens has built a
huge turbine manufacturing complex in Georgia and is one of the most
active manufacturers and healthcare service companies throughout the
United States. Wacker Chemie AG based in Munich Germany announced
December 9, 2010 plans to invest
almost $2 billion to construct an integrated chemical production
facility in Tennessee. The Wacker chemical monopoly, which began during
the First World War and later expanded its war production significantly
under the Nazi Reich, is still owned by descendents of the original
Wacker family, having been returned
ownership by legislation of U.S. occupied West Germany in 1953. Even
Canadian monopoly capital in the form of National Steel Car has built a
new plant in Alabama to compete with and perhaps destroy its existing
Hamilton plant. The Electrolux move raises the question of a possible
connection to a resurgent
Nazi alliance of monopoly capital between Germany/Netherlands/Sweden
and the United States.
Manufacturing as a percentage of economic activity in
the U.S. has fallen to 14 per cent, which is below other imperialist
powers such as Germany at over 20 per cent. This is not just a feature
of uneven development of capitalism because imperialism or monopoly
capital operates in a much less spontaneous
manner. Monopoly capital is far more conscious of its narrow interests
than nascent capitalism and has the ability to use that consciousness
to force its will on the world. The Obama administration is pushing for
manufacturing in the U.S. and this has been seen with the debacle U.S.
Steel has created with Stelco,
which has closed its Canadian mills in favour of consolidating
production in its U.S. mills. The same is true with the recent upswing
in North American auto production, which appears to be concentrated in
the U.S. as well.
The resurgence of German/Dutch/Swedish monopoly capital
in the U.S. along with the old ties with Japanese militarist monopoly
capital may also be connected with the war drums increasingly directed
against China, the Democratic Republic of Korea and Russia. The issue
to think about and
investigate is the possibility that the European
imperialists, especially those with the old Nazi ties have come to an
arrangement to put a certain level of manufacturing back into the U.S.
and in return have received something, whatever that may be. It may be
connected to consolidating the U.S. military empire in Europe against
Russia and expanding NATO worldwide
to the benefit of European imperialism and in return not raising
objections to U.S. military provocations on the Korean Peninsula or
some other benefit to the U.S. Empire. The point is there is more to
this Electrolux closure and transfer to Tennessee than meets the eye
and workers and their allies should be aware
and vigilant and oppose it with all their collective strength. The
resurgent Nazi imperialists and their U.S. collaborators cannot be
allowed to strengthen their forces without firm opposition. Electrolux
and others must expect consequences for their anti-social actions.
These pro-social consequences must become well
known and part of the consciousness of the Workers' Opposition and
society. Imperialists should expect resistance whenever they attempt
their filthy schemes. In this case, Electrolux should at the least face
seizure of its assets in Quebec and banning of its commodities from
entering the Canadian market from Europe
or the U.S. If Electrolux refuses to make a suitable arrangement to
continue production, at least to the level of its sales in Canada, then
governments are duty bound to come up with some alternative for the
plant and machinery and not leave the situation to chance. This is an
opportunity for the federal government
to show that it cares about Quebec as a viable nation within the
country wherein economic viability is based on manufacturing and not on
the vagaries and meagreness of added-value from resource extraction and
exporting of basic raw commodities such as electricity.
Nazi Connections of the Anglo-American
Electrolux's Nazi Connections
Swedish appliance maker Electrolux was founded in 1919
and taken over in the 1930s by wealthy Swede and Nazi collaborator Axel
Wenner-Gren. Early in the Second World War, Wenner-Gren's friendship
with Nazi Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe, Herman Göring, and
the Duke of Windsor, who had
to abdicate the British throne in 1938 due to his support for the
Nazis, led to the Allies placing Wenner-Gren on an economic blacklist.
Wenner-Gren also partnered with ITT owner Sosthenes Behn and SKF
Bearing chairman Sven Winquist (see below) in the giant Bofors
munitions empire, bought from Krupp, which
supplied Germany with weapons. ITT owned 25 per cent of Focke Wulfe,
which produced fighter planes for the German Luftwaffe. ITT also
financed Pinochet's bloody 1973 military coup in Chile.
Destroyed Focke Wulfe 190 fighter.
In 1957, Wenner-Gren proposed a plan to British Columbia
Premier W.A.C. Bennett to exploit the resources of 40,000 square miles
(one-tenth of BC) of the "Rocky Mountain Trench" in northern BC. The
included a "dam larger than the Hoover Dam" but only a Prince George to
Alaska railway was completed.
A few years after Wenner-Gren died in 1961, the BC government built the
W.A.C. Bennett Dam on Williston Lake.
In 1956, Wenner-Gren sold his Electrolux shares to the
Wallenbergs, Sweden's most powerful finance capitalists. Marcus
Wallenberg is Electrolux's current chairman and the Wallenbergs control
27.6 per cent of the company. Marcus Wallenberg is also chairman of the
Wallenberg family bank, Skandinaviska
Enskilda Banken (SEB), with subsidiaries in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania,
Ukraine, Russia, Germany and New York. He is chairman of defense
contractor Saab, vice chairman of telecom giant Ericsson, and chairman
of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), a worldwide business
organization which includes
thousands of companies in over 130 countries. The Wallenbergs also hold
significant shares in Saab, Ericcson, SKF Bearing Company, Skandinavian
Airlines Systems (SAS), Husqvarna, Atlas Copco, Astra Zeneca and many
other companies. During the Second World War, Sweden, which emerged
from the war
as the richest country in Europe, was officially "neutral," but this
was a myth. Swedish companies collaborated widely with the Nazis,
including providing Germany with iron ore, ball bearings, foodstuffs,
wood and many other raw materials, providing credit which allowed the
delivery of war materials to the Wermacht,
supplying railway transport to assist the invasion of Norway, and
acting as a conduit for goods and foreign currency to and from Germany.
Sweden's King Gustav V was a close friend of Herman Göring (whose
first wife was Swedish), and other high Nazi officials. Following the
war, "neutral" Sweden agreed to
pay almost $70 million in reparations but still has not done so and
still holds many tons of Nazi gold somewhere in its bank vaults. Today
in "neutral" Sweden, a declared neo-Nazi party, Svenskarnas, is allowed
to participate openly in Swedish politics, while instigating racist
attacks against immigrants and "non-Swedes."
During the Second World War, both Electrolux (then owned
by Wenner-Gren) and the Wallenberg family collaborated with the Nazis.
According to the American Jewish Committee,
Electrolux AG in Berlin used slave labour to produce its products. In
2005, Electrolux bought the brand name of AEG, the
leading wartime German electrical producer, and now "proudly" trades
using the brand AEG-Electrolux, even though during the Second World
War, AEG donated money to the Nazis, was represented in Himmler's
"Circle of Friends," and exploited slave labour, including at Auschwitz
The Wallenberg's bank, Enskilda Banken (which merged
with Skandinaviska Banken in 1972 to form Skandinaviska Enskilda
Banken) collaborated with the Nazis by helping them dispose of millions
of dollars in assets confiscated from prisoners by converting the
stolen Nazi gold into Swedish currency. During
1939-1940, the Enskilda Bank secretly purchased all foreign branches of
the Robert Bosch Group, a German manufacturer of spark plugs that
employed slave labour. In turn, Bosch facilitated Enskilda's sale of
$3.6 million worth of German bonds. The Enskilda Bank also helped Nazi
corporations such as I.G. Farben
and Krupp hide their foreign subsidiaries to avoid confiscation by the
Allies. U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Morgenthau, in a February
1945 letter to the U.S. Secretary of State, charged that Enskilda was
making large loans to the Nazis without collateral and making covert
investments for German capitalists
in U.S. industries.
world's largest ball
bearing manufacturer, collaborated with the Nazis by supplying them
with vital steel ball bearings, while at the same time holding back
supplies to the Allies. Sixty per cent of SKF's production until late
in the Second World War was allocated to Germany.
SKF was interlocked with every industrial group in Sweden and the SKF
directors represented companies that ran the entire Swedish economy.
SKF also controlled iron mines and steel foundries and factories in the
United States, Great Britain, France, and Germany. The head of SKF was
Sven Wingquist, a partner
of the Wallenbergs and of Axel Wenner-Gren, and a friend of Göring
the Duke of Windsor. Göring's cousin, Count Hugo von Rosen, was a
director of SKF throughout the war.
Although small in size, SKF's ball bearings were
absolutely essential to the Nazis. The Luftwaffe could not fly without
ball bearings, and tanks and armored cars could not roll without them.
Nazi guns, bombsights, generators and engines, ventilating systems,
U-boats, railroads, mining machinery and communications
devices could not work without ball bearings. In fact, the Nazis could
not have fought the Second World War if Wallenberg's SKF had not
supplied them with all the ball bearings that they needed.
1. It was also recently
revealed that the father of Sweden's current queen was a Nazi party
member who worked for a Brazilian branch of a German company that used
slave labour, and then returned to Germany in 1939 and became rich
manufacturing Nazi armaments in a factory stolen from
the Jewish owners, Wechsler and Henning.
2. Information from Jewish Virtual
Library Page, data supplied by the Berliner Geschichtswerkstatt.
3. Much of the information about Enskilda
and SKF is from: Higham, Charles. Trading with the Enemy: An
Exposure of the Nazi-American Money Plot, 1933-1949. New York:
Leading U.S. Nazi Rocket Scientist Dies
Walter Haeussermann, a leading member of the team of
rocket scientists led by Nazi SS Colonel Werner von Braun, who were
brought to the United States after the Second World War to help develop
U.S. guided missiles, died December 8 in Huntsville, Alabama, where he
was head of the Marshall Space Flight
Centre. From 1939-42, Haeussermann worked for the Nazis at
Peenemünde, Germany, helping develop the V-1 "flying bomb" and
supersonic V-2 rockets. Raining destruction on the people of London and
Antwerp, Belgium, the V-1 attacks caused 22,892 civilian casualties
(about 8,000 dead) and damaged over one
million homes, while the V-2 killed 2,541 civilians and injured 5,923.
In 1942, Haeussermann was sent to Siemens in Darmstadt
to develop a gyroscopic guidance system for the V-2. The Allies bombed
Peenemünde in 1943-44 so V-1 and V-2 production was moved to
Mittelwerk, a Nazi government underground facility in the Kohnstein
Hills near Nordhausen. Slave labourers
from Buchenwald Concentration Camp were forced to build the facility
and live in the tunnels. They were then forced to build a concentration
camp called Dora or Mittelbau nearby, as well as work in the Mittelwerk
underground factory to produce Nazi weapons. Some 20 German companies
were involved in the
Mittelwerk construction and rocket assembly process, including Siemens,
BMW and Telefunken.
Haeussermann's Nazi boss, Werner von Braun, visited Dora
during 1944-45, so the rocket team was well aware of the inhuman
conditions there. Approximately 60,000 slave labourers from 21 nations,
mainly the Soviet Union, Poland and France, passed through Dora, and
all were treated with extreme cruelty,
causing illness, injuries and deaths. They slaved with bare hands 18
hours a day, as Operations Director Arthur Rudolph, a loyal Nazi Party
member, rushed to meet Hitler's target of 5,000 V-2 rockets to rain on
London in a single blow. The worst place to work was the galvanizing
shop, where the build-up of toxic
gases killed the slaves within a month.
An estimated 25,000 slave labourers died at Dora: 9,000
died from exhaustion and collapse, 350 were hanged (including 200 for
sabotage), and the remainder died from disease or starvation or were
shot. Many went insane from the machinery vibrations. After the war,
the only persons convicted of crimes were
16 Dora guards. Operations Director Arthur Rudolph, Mittelwerk General
Manager Georg Rickhy and all the other scientists, engineers and
managers were never charged and got off scot-free.
Soon after the Second World War ended, Haeusserman and
his Nazi colleagues, including von Braun, Rudolf and Rickhy, were
transferred to the U.S. via U.S. Intelligence's "Operation Paperclip,"
even though it was well-known they were war criminals. Operation
Paperclip, which continued until as late as 1973,
had one goal which was to be met at any cost: to exploit the Nazi
scientists for U.S. military research in order to develop weapons to
oppose the Soviet Union. The cruise missile, subject of major protests
when tested in Canada, is based on the design of the V-1.
Photo shows 39
German-born scientists, including two Nazi scientists brought into the
U.S. through Operation Paperclip, being granted U.S. citizenship on
November 11, 1954 (the U.S. holiday of Veterans' Day).
The Paperclip program's architects were also willing to
build on deadly Nazi research conducted on captive human subjects.
Paperclip scientists were involved in testing psychoactive drugs such
as LSD on almost 7,000 unknowing U.S. soldiers between 1955 and 1975,
hoping to develop a "truth serum." Leading
Nazi scientist Hubertus Strughold, who, as head of the Nazi Air Force
Institute for Aviation Medicine, ran inhuman experiments at Dachau
Concentration Camp that tortured and killed inmates by making them
drink salt water and suffer freezing water temperatures and high air
pressures, began his U.S. career at the School of Aviation Medicine,
Base, Texas, where human experiments were conducted in total-body
radiation and flash blindness in connection with atomic weapons tests.
It is estimated that at least 1,600 Nazi scientists were
recruited from 1945-55, even though Operation Paperclip supposedly
excluded anyone found "to have been a member of the Nazi Party, and
more than a nominal participant in its activities, or an active
supporter of Nazi militarism." To allay public opinion,
U.S. Intelligence created false biographies for the Nazi scientists and
erased records of their Nazi Party memberships. Haeussermann and the
other Nazis denied their guilt to the end, stating that they were only
following orders (a "defense" rejected by the Nuremberg Courts) and
fraudulently claiming that they knew
nothing about slave labour. In 1954, Haeussermann was rewarded for his
loyal service to the Nazis and to the U.S. financial oligarchy by being
made a U.S. citizen.
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