DETROIT–General Motors workers called a general strike Monday, vowing to stay off the assembly line until their demand for more acrylic novelty baseball caps is met.
"Fair is fair," said UAW Local 163 president Wayne Garber, marching with fellow workers in front of GM's Romulus Powertrain Assembly Plant. "All we want is our rightful share of mesh-backed hats emblazoned with humorous slogans about bass fishing, inebriation, spousal weight gain and other such topics of relevance to our lives."
Added Garber: "GM management treats its workers like mushrooms: They keep us in the dark and feed us shit."
Garber–who has vehemently denied recent allegations that he has a drinking problem, claiming that he drinks, gets drunk and falls down with no problem–said UAW members have not received new hats since 1993.
"We've been wearing the same novelty caps for years, and they've become practically unwearable," said Garber, sporting a worn-out "Gun Control Is Hitting What You Aim At" cap. "Their foam fronts are flaking, the crescent-shaped vent holes in the back are eroded, and the silkscreened lettering is so faded, we can no longer communicate the fact that if it has tits or wheels, it'll give you trouble."
The UAW is calling for a new contract guaranteeing each GM worker a new cap every eight months, with at least one of the first three caps featuring profanity, such as, "What Part Of 'Eat Shit' Don't You Understand?" "Lazy Americans, My Ass!" and "Shut Up, Bitch!" As a further concession, the union is demanding that all workers with 10 years service receive three-quarter-sleeve T-shirts bearing the iron-on slogan, "Wanted: Good Woman With Bass Boat... Send Picture Of Boat."
"How can GM expect these workers to adequately express their drinking, eating or hunting prowess–or their disdain for fat chicks, for that matter–with caps that are completely run down?" UAW vice-president Bruce Young said. "There are assembly-line workers who haven't given a moustache ride in 10 years, simply because their caps were so tattered, women didn't know the rides were available."
"On the top of my head, I've got a solar panel for a sex machine," GM Janesville Assembly Plant bodywork specialist James Reback said. "But my acrylic novelty cap is in such bad shape, people have been mistaking the panel for a bald spot. If things get much worse here at GM, I may quit and go back to my old job as an official tan-line inspector."
According to GM management, the corporation's attempts to negotiate with UAW representatives have been rejected.
"General Motors is the industry leader in worker safety, job-benefits packages and salaries, and we have made every effort to work with the union in the past," GM labor coordinator Bob Paletti said. "We even gave in to UAW demands for caps with fake dog-droppings on the brim, as well as beercan-holding novelty caps with dual drinking tubes. And now, even after we've vowed to grant them generous mesh-cap concessions, they're still crying foul. I guess they suffer from C.R.S.–Can't Remember Shit."