Many automakers have issued announcements that seem strange immediately before people see that these dates are not true at all. Yes, automakers are very keen to celebrate April Fools’ Day, but when Dodge joked that SRT models will adopt a “do not disturb” mode, Ford quickly pointed out that its Mustang already has similar features, and it was joking.
Dodge has stated that its SRT model will use a mode that reduces the noise level of these cars-even more roar. The engine and exhaust marks of the Dodge SRT model are one of the iconic highlights, but this can be a problem in a quiet neighborhood. Therefore, Dodge said that this time the situation has been eased. It said on Twitter: “We finally listened to your neighbors. The new SRT(R) do not disturb mode was introduced. There are no more noise complaints.” However, the hashtag #AprilFools in the same tweet has been Give it up all.
Ford got up and did not leave.
Ford product communications manager Mike Levine (Mike Levine) emphasized on Twitter that Mustang has actually had a similar pattern since 2018. “The Mustang has had a similar pattern since 2018. Not #AprilFools. This is the #GoodNeighbor pattern,” he wrote.
Levine refers to a mode that uses an active exhaust system to reduce decibels in pipes. There is also a timer that can be programmed so that the average machine can be quiet at the scheduled time.
With the development of muscle cars and high-performance cars, sound plays a key role in the experience of driving and even entering the car. The grunt meets some of the expectations of enthusiasts, but it is also true that relatively quiet areas may encounter problems. However, this may be a thing of the past in the case of hybrid and/or full battery powering in upcoming cars, regardless of whether it is silent or not.
Steve Hollander, Riki Paewai, Kris Richards and Margaret Kouvelis. Photo / Provided
Te Marae o Hine Palmerston Square North hosted the record-breaking event during this weekend’s New Zealand Ford Ranger Country Match.
About 42,000 people attended the three-day event where athletes competed in a variety of rural sports, including chopping wood, shoveling coal and shearing sheep.
However, it was the boot throwing and egg throwing and catching that ultimately broke New Zealand’s record.
Riki Paewai and Kris Richards set a new record for New Zealand Throw and Catch at 66.3m – the first time it was broken since 2016.
The pair surpassed the 2016 record of Brent Newdick and Luke Wainui of 63.7 m with a large 2.6 m.
Meanwhile, New Zealand women’s shoe-throwing champion Kristin Churchward beat her Kiwi record by throwing 36.88m.
The previous record was 34.45m, which was set in Queenstown in 2016.
New Zealand Country Games founder Steve Hollander said it was a “fantastic” weekend for country sports.
“The sun was shining all weekend, and we were lucky enough to see two New Zealand records being broken.”
The weekend also succeeded in introducing this year’s focus on introducing young people to rural careers and sports, said Hollander.
“As of Friday, we have 420 students attending the Westpac Agri Futures inauguration, and another 240 students competing in the Allflex Clash of the Colleges. We want to introduce a youth focus on encouraging young people in rural careers and rural sports.”
The Stihl Timbersports Championship is also held over the weekend, with women, men and rookies competing to represent New Zealand in international championships.
“It’s great to have more wooden sports competitors at the Olympics, especially young and female competitors alongside men – the public can see a high level of professionalism in this sport’s code,” Hollander said.
A one-hour television program will air on TV3 on March 27 at 5 pm.
New Zealand Ford Ranger Country Game Results
• 1st Men’s Championship: Jack Jordan – 75 points
• 2nd Men’s Championship: Kyle Lemon – 62 points
• 3rd Men’s Championship: Jason Wynyard – 58 points
• 1st Women’s Championship: Kylea Heaton of Hamilton
• 2nd Women’s Championship: Raewyn Windley of Hamilton
• 3rd Women’s Championship: Emma Shaw of Leeston
• First Newcomers Championship: Brad Pako from Dunedin
• 2nd Rookies Championship: Cleveland Cherry of Spinuru
• 3rd Rookies Championship: Michael Trow of Hamilton
• First Championship: Tony Bouskill
• 2nd Championship: Team Garrick
• 3rd Championship: Bradley Fountain
• First Fighter: Jared Nicolson
• 2nd shooting: Hayden Walton
• Battle 3: Troy Brooky
Teenage Secondary Shooting
• First team: Rathkeale College
• 2nd Team: Feilding High
• 3rd team: New Plymouth Boys
• First Individual Quality Barber: Michael Buick, Rathkeale College
Sam Strahan’s Memorial Sheep Dog Trial Challenge
• First team: Jo Waugh, Bex Scragg, Kathryn Oliver, Robyn Stephens
• 2nd Team: Paul Evans, Guy Peacock, Bruce Parkinson, Matthew McMurray
New Zealand Skellerup Gumboot Throw Championship
• Men’s 1st prize: Kieran Fowler – 47.31m
• 2nd son: Stu McNie – 46.63m
• 3rd son: Craig Manson – 46.50m
• 1st daughter: Kristen Churchward – 36.88m – New Zealand record
• 2nd daughter: Dell Adams – 31.62m
• 3rd daughter: Janey Harrison – 29.94m
New Zealand Catch and Egg Throw Championship
• 1st place: Riki Paewai and Kris Richards – 66.3 million
• 2nd place: Jeremy Price and Jacob Smith – 45m
• Third: Robbie Hollander and Jack Taylor – 40m
Battle of the Sexes Speed Tree Climbing
• First team: Women – Stephanie Dryfhout, Sami Baker, Nicala Ward-Allen, Chrissie Spence – 310 points
• 2nd Team: Boys – Dom Ritter, Sam Smith, Sam James, Jack Taylor – 296 points
• Footlock First Man: Sam James – 13.7s
• First Women’s Footlock: Nicala Ward-Allen – 15.4s
• First Person Workclimb: Sam Smith – 66.33s
• First Women’s Workclimb: Chrissie Spence 68.00s
Southern Hemisphere Highlands Championship
• First: Craig Manson
• Second: Ruben De Jong
• Third: Andrew Wain
1st Jack Fagan: 47.34 (two sheep)
2nd Jimmy Samuels 49.52 (two sheep)
• 3rd Paerata Abraham 20.04 (one sheep)
• First team: Worn Out Old Buggers – 11.65s
• Men’s Doubles 1st: Royce Green and Wayne Keown – 15.09s
• Women’s Doubles 1st: Dell Adams and Kristen Churchward – 19.86 seconds
• Men’s Singles 1st: Royce Green – 24.63
• First: Penny Boyle
• Second: Andre Poutama
• Third: Melissa Lammas
Speights – Bill Tapley Memorial Cow Pat Throw in collaboration with FFNZ Manawatu Branch
• 1st son: Riki Paewai – 42.22m
• Both Sons: Luke Wainui – 40.12m
• 3rd son: Tangaroa Walker – 36.03m
• 1st place under 12: Camden Bolton – 26.35m
• Second place under 12 years of age: Rupert Smith – 25.85 million
Cow Pat Throw – Saturday
• 1st son: Luke Wainui
• 2nd son: Jeremy Price
• 3rd son: Riki Paewai
• 1st daughter: Maddie Bell
Human and Mutant Race
• First: Luke Watts and Max from Whanganui
• Second: Josh Wilkinson and Lilly from Fitzherbert
• Third: David Reesby and Bo from Marton
Russian Egg Roulette
• 10.00: 1st Michelle Smith, 2nd Jacob Smith
• 12.00: 1st Christina Gee, 2nd Toot Hotel
• 14.00: 1st Brandon Brooks, 2nd Dylan Muidie
Allflex Clash of the Colleges
• Juniors 1st: Palmerston North Boys High School Team 51 – 92 points
• Junior 2nd: Feilding High School Team 17 – 90 points
• Juniors 3: Feilding High School Team 8 – 89 points
• Senior 1: New Plymouth Boys Middle School Team 44 – 112 points
• Senior 2: Wairarapa College Team 23 – 108 points
• Senior 3: Build 7 Middle School Team – 105 points
• The best team to throw Gumboots: Palmerston North Boys High School
The two main trade unions leading negotiations with Ford on halting its operations in Brazil urged workers to return to work next Monday, February 22, in clear signs of their adherence to the automaker’s profit interests. Despite knowing that they will soon be laid off, the workers must return to the factory to meet the company’s demand for spare parts.
The re-imposition of work comes amid pressure from Ford dealers who have expressed concern about a shortage of parts for cars still on sale. The announcement of factory closings triggered an immediate decline in sales of Ford vehicles in Brazil. In January, the company’s sales were cut by half compared to December, which only sold 8,100 units nationwide. It was the biggest drop among car manufacturers in Brazil.
According to a UOL Carros website report, the Brazilian Ford Distributors Association (Abradif) warned Ford in late January that parts were scarce. In their documents submitted to Ford, the organization stated that its members had received notification from the Consumer Protection Agency (Procon) due to the absence of a maintenance component on the official network.
Of the three plants Ford owns in Brazil, only one in Horizonte, in the state of Ceará, continues to operate. It is expected to be closed completely by the end of this year. Two other factories, in Camaçari, Bahia and Taubaté, São Paulo, which employ more workers, have been completely closed since 11 January, the day the automaker announced a halt to production in Brazil.
After a few weeks, however, Ford began to retract part of the workforce in Camaçari and Taubaté. The workers were notified individually by telegram or phone calls from their superiors but despite direct intimidation did not respond to the calls.
In an interview with Or Balloons the newspaper, the president of the Camaçari Metalworkers Union, Julio Bonfim, has reported: “Ford sent a notification, but zero adhesion, everything was stopped, nobody left. The factory was forced to rent a warehouse because it was in the Simões Filho area [the neighboring municipality] there is no one here in Camaçari to unload the 90 truck drivers. “
To ensure a return to work, Ford had to enlist the services of the respective unions, not only to formalize the new order, but also to reassure the workers. It is for this purpose that conciliation hearings are being held this week between unions and Ford executives.
At the hearing, the president of the Camaçari union declared himself in favor of returning to work, which only showed disagreement with regard to the criteria for this return. “The union wants to comply with the discharge requirements, yes, but the union wants to discuss criteria for these workers to return. Not Ford’s way of doing it. Ford recalled all workers, even disabled workers, injured workers, “argued Bonfim.
While company executives denounced the workers’ “illegal strike”, accusing the union of leading this resistance, Bonfim denied he was responsible: “There were no strikes, no stoppages.” In other words, at a time when Ford was heavily dependent on labor, when workers’ power over the company was exposed, the unions subjected that power to the interests of capitalist profit, disarming the working class struggle.
In a video released right after the negotiation session, the president of the Taubaté Metal Workers’ Union, Cláudio Batista, presented as an accomplishment the fact that the agreement had obtained “negotiations with Ford global executives, an unprecedented fact as we never managed to negotiate with the Ford Executive. aims to reverse that closure. “
Although held separately, the two hearings, in Camaçari and Taubaté, approved a nearly identical resolution urging workers to return to their factories with guarantees that there would be no layoffs “until the end of negotiations.” During this period, Ford will also maintain wage payments, even for those who are not called to work.
Regarding workers who do not show up after Ford’s initial call, there will be no reduction in pay. On the other hand, from the 22nd, those who are summoned and do not appear will be subject to “applicable action”. The two agreements were then submitted to a workers vote and have been approved.
Apart from the political implications involved, this return to work comes amid the worst moments of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. More than 300,000 new cases and 7,520 new deaths were reported last week in Brazil, the week with the second highest death toll since the pandemic began. This alone justifies the need to keep workers at home, stopping all nonessential production.
The issue was mentioned during a hearing in Camaçari, with a request – but not a request – from the union that Ford test all workers returning to work, given a relapse of COVID-19 medical leave recorded during the pandemic.
In an anti-scientific and repugnant stance – akin to Brazilian fascist President Jair Bolsonaro and in line with the ruling class as a whole – one of the company representatives at the hearing replied that “there has been no infection in the factory to date. “Challenging workers’ intelligence and blaming them for being infected, he later said that” the employee who tested positive contracted an outside disease [the factory]. “
After pressure from the judge overseeing the trial, who stressed the urgency of the health crisis in the state of Bahia and across the country, the company limited itself to “thinking carefully” about the proposal. As such, workers will return to their workplaces only under the minimum legal “safety protocols”, completely inadequate at this critical time of the pandemic.
Apart from Ford executives and government officials, trade unions should also be condemned as those responsible for placing workers under the interests of profit that threaten the health and living conditions of the working class.
Under such conditions, returning to work would be extremely painful for Ford workers. This immediately raises the question: who should control the Ford factory, the working class or the capitalists?
One month after Ford announced the closure of its three remaining plants in Brazil, another company linked to its production chain laid off its workers, unleashing a wave of layoffs affecting various sectors of the auto industry. According to research by the Interunion Department of Statistics and Socioeconomic Studies (DIEESE), the 5,000 layoffs announced by Ford mark the potential for destruction of another 118,864 jobs, resulting in an annual wage loss of 2.5 billion reais (US $ 465 million).
Based on this perspective, one can predict the waves of opposition among Brazilian workers. On January 26, about 800 workers at the Arteb parts factory, located at the ABC industrial complex in São Paulo, went on strike to protest the 200 layoffs. Founded in 1934, Arteb produced headlights and headlights for major automakers, and blamed the layoffs on Ford’s closure in Brazil. Workers were fired by mail.
The strike was led by the ABC Metalworkers Union (SMABC), which is affiliated with the Workers’ Party (PT)-controlled CUT federation, and ended in just two days. The union acted swiftly to keep the strike isolated, without calling on other workers in the area who would soon face a similar situation. Linking layoffs to the company’s previous financial problems and the “normalized” high unemployment rate in the industry, the secretary general of SMABC, Moisés Selerges, proposed ending the strike.
“The situation is complicated. It’s not just Arteb’s problem, but the industry as a whole. The industry is submerged in water because this government does not have an industrial policy, ”Selerges said when meeting workers. “As I told you at the start, the union is working on a possible deal. So here’s a possible deal that we reached. “
The “may” deal reached by the union received 200 layoffs. Even in the face of obvious defeats for these workers, the union is still trying to boast that the negotiations have “guaranteed” severance pay, extended medical benefits to September and payment for strike days.
The announcement on the SMABC website on January 21 has warned of the general nature of the “Ford effect,” as evidenced by the recent cutbacks in working hours at factories in the ABC region that used to serve carmakers.
“With the announcement of the closure of Ford, we are concerned about the domino effect on auto parts in our region, as several companies supply products to auto manufacturers, including auto parts factories,” said another union official, Genildo Dias Pereira. “In São Bernardo, for example, we have Samot, Fiamm, Rassini, ZHS, Mahle, Selco, among many others. Not to mention that Arteb has closed the Camaçari factory [in the state of Bahia, where Ford had one of its factories] after the decision. “
This statement reveals that SMABC has predicted layoffs at Arteb and other factories. Their actions during the strike demonstrate the decisive role of trade unions in this process: any spark of resistance must be quelled immediately so as not to spread into the generalized working class movement.
While CUT carries out its role in the ABC region, its branch in the city of Taubaté, in rural São Paulo, works to control the anger of 830 workers who were fired from one of the Ford factories. Since the closure was announced, a group of employees has taken turns on permanent guard in front of the factory, preventing its machines from being moved. The Metal Workers Union of Repentance (Sindimetau), however, is working to divert workers from any concrete struggle against capitalism, and in fact put all “worldly problems” aside.
In a motorcade held on January 29, Sindimetau union officials led the workers in a religious ritual, bringing about 300 cars to Brazil’s largest cathedral in Aparecida. Reporting the motorcade, the union declared: “The message from the ‘Nazareth Workers’ in the fight against the specter of unemployment strengthens workers at this Friday mass at the Aparecida National Temple.”
While trying to assuage the anger of the workers with religious sermons and the hope of a miracle falling from heaven, the unions increasingly disarm their struggles, trying to divert them to purely legal and parliamentary channels.
Three civilian questions were opened by the Ministry of Labor in the region where Ford has stopped production. On February 5, a decision by two labor judges suspended the possible collective dismissal of Ford employees working at the Taubaté and Camaçari plants.
According to Judge Andréia de Oliveira, chairman of the Second Labor Court in Taubaté, “The size of the company, the number of direct and indirect jobs affected and the social impact on the country does not allow for a simple solution to this case.” In contrast, the judge responsible for analyzing the Camaçari case stated that the mass layoffs without communication and negotiation with the union “would be fraught with insurmountable crimes, violating workers’ constitutional rights.”
The court rulings, however, were temporary in nature, conditioning the suspension of layoffs over negotiating severance pay with respective unions.
According to a report on the UOL Cars website, Ford has allocated US $ 4.2 billion for the closure of its operations in Brazil. Most of this amount will be used to compensate dealers, factory workers, suppliers and companies that provide services at the factory, as well as pay off loans from the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES).
Everything suggests that workers will face a tentative agreement negotiated between the union and Ford, similar to that reached at the São Bernardo do Campo factory, which closed in 2019. The union follows the same political roadmap used by SMABC at the time. On that occasion, World Socialist WebSiteanalyzed:
“When news of the Ford closure broke, the SMABC did everything in its power to undermine the workers, who were on strike for 42 days. The unions prevented any move to occupy the factory or any act of expanding the struggle. The union instead ordered striking workers to go home and wait for negotiations. He refused to call for concerted action with contract workers or the 20,000 affected in the auto parts industry. This ultimately ended the strike under management terms, acting in collaboration with the São Paulo government, which announced it would serve as intermediary in Ford’s negotiations with Caoa. [the company that first signaled interest in buying the plant]. “
As is now known, no other automaker has taken over the factory, and the area was purchased to possibly be converted into a logistics center or shopping center. However, Julio Bonfim, president of the Camaçari Metalworkers Union and official of the Maoist Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB), is now using this promise – that other automakers will take over production at the factory – to deceive workers.
While working with the governor of Bahia, Rui Costa of PT, on a committee looking for companies interested in operating the automotive park, Bonfim had taken layoffs for granted, asking only for severance pay. “If Ford has closed its activities and there is no chance of staying in Camaçari, then let them negotiate the severance pay fairly,” he said.
No severance pay can offset the dire consequences of massive unemployment to come. Of the nearly 6,000 workers Ford currently employs in Brazil, 4,600 (75 percent) of them work at the Ford Complex in Camaçari. Much of the city’s economy is dependent on industrial complexes. The city mayor has announced cuts in public education and health care in response to a loss of 10 percent of tax revenue, while demand for these services will only increase as thousands of workers lose their medical care after being removed from work.
It is important that while all the trade unions involved are linked to the same political force, ultimately the Labor Party, no unified struggle is organized among the workers they represent. Workers need to learn from the betrayal of the struggle against the closure of the 2019 Ford plant on ABC. This meant breaking with the union leadership which led them to crushing defeats and establishing independent committees to organize the collective struggle against layoffs and factory closings.