January 11, 2013
Volume 43, No. 1
Federal Automotive Innovation Fund a Step Forward, CAW saysThe CAW has reacted positively to the federal government's recent renewal of the Automotive Innovation Fund, which will provide $250 million in repayable funding to support future capital investments in the auto sector.
"This is an important affirmation that the federal government remains committed to attracting future investments in this vital industry," said Ken Lewenza, CAW President.
"This fund is an important tool in our industrial policy toolbox, and its renewal sends a signal to automotive manufacturers that Canada is in the game," he added.
However, the CAW President stressed that the fund alone will not be sufficient to preserve Canada's future share of auto investment and production. "International experience shows that the most successful auto jurisdictions are those which pursue multi-pronged auto strategies," he said. "We need a comprehensive, integrated federal-provincial strategy to attract investment and support Canadian jobs."
In addition to financial support for new investments, such a strategy should also feature negotiated commitments to Canadian content, fair trade policies to reduce large auto trade deficits, active procurement strategies, and other policy levers.
Last year the CAW released a major policy paper on the need for a national auto policy, titled Rethinking Canada's Auto Industry. It advocated a ten-point strategy to ensure a proportional Canadian share of high-productivity, well-paying jobs in auto assembly and parts production. The full 50-page document is available at www.rethinktheeconomy.ca.
Lewenza noted the historic pattern of cost-sharing between the federal and Ontario governments in supporting major auto investments, and challenged Queen's Park to confirm that it will continue that traditional partnership.
Lewenza also challenged the federal and Ontario governments to ensure that their future support for the auto sector is tied to enforceable commitments by the auto producers regarding their production levels in Canada. "Industrial policy needs both a carrot and a stick," Lewenza said. "Supported companies need to make clear and binding commitments regarding their long-run presence in Canada, in return for the public support they are receiving."
Lewenza pointed to the successful Canadian footprint commitments contained in the 2009 restructuring agreements with General Motors and Chrysler, which expire in 2017. "Those footprint commitments meant that Canada's share of North American vehicle production actually increased through the financial crisis. They are a model that should be replicated in our future investment policies."
CAW Members at Aeroplan Ratify New Three-Year Deal
CAW Local 2002 members who work at Aeroplan in Montreal and Vancouver have ratified a new three-year collective agreement with improved wages, vacation and health benefits.
The agreement was ratified by 72 per cent on December 18.
Wage increases are three per cent in the first year and two per cent in each of the second and third years. Wages increases are retroactive to November 15, 2012. Vision care, hearing aid and life insurance coverage were all improved and workplace violence language was negotiated for the first time.
In addition, the cap was removed from supplementary health insurance and other gains were made.
"I wish to congratulate our Aeroplan members and bargaining committee for their unyielding commitment in obtaining a fair and equitable contract," CAW Local 2002 President Jamie Ross said. "With a slow-moving economy and the government's relentless attack on labour, we are proud of the gains that we were able to attain for our members."
CAW Local 2002 represents approximately 800 members at Aeroplan offices in Vancouver and Montreal, who book airline rewards for customers, and answer customer booking questions and provide online support.
GM Must Replace Lost Camaro Production on a One-to-One Basis, CAW says
CAW President Ken Lewenza and CAW Local 222 President Chris Buckley at Local 222 press conference on December 19 shortly after GM announced it was moving the next generation of Camaro production to Michigan.
The CAW is reacting in anger and frustration at the leaked announcement by General Motors that the company will allocate the next generation of Camaro to its Lansing, Michigan assembly plant, instead of the Oshawa Flex Plant where it is currently built.
The decision will cut between one third and one quarter of production in Oshawa and will occur in late 2015, early 2016. The union is calling on General Motors to replace the production on a one-to-one basis, ensuring that no jobs are lost.
"General Motors has once again shown a complete and utter disregard for its workers and also Canadians in general, whose tax dollars kept the company out of bankruptcy," said CAW National President Ken Lewenza. While the exact number of jobs that may be lost has not yet been accounted for, removing Camaro could have the effect of closing down a number of auto parts companies. "This decision will cause yet another devastating shock to
the Durham Region and the country's auto industry," said Lewenza. Lewenza called the December 19 announcement and its timing both "callous and poorly thought-out."
"The timing of this announcement couldn't possibly be any worse," said CAW Local 222 President Chris Buckley. "Our members are now going into the holiday season wondering what will happen to them and if they'll have jobs in the future. General Motors must now explain to our members and Canadian tax payers why they are pulling more production out of the country."
Conciliator Appointed in Sunwing Pilots Bargaining
A federal conciliator has been appointed in bargaining between CAW Local 7378, representing Sunwing Airline's approximately 160 professional pilots based across Canada, and the company.
The federal conciliator was appointed January 4 after Local 7378 applied for conciliation because of an impasse in talks with the company.
"After months of bargaining, the company's unwillingness to adequately address our pilot group's most pressing issues has forced us down this path," said CAW National President Ken Lewenza. "It's truly a shame that such a profitable company would choose to ignore reasonable requests of its highly skilled flight crews."
"It's truly discouraging," said CAW Local 7378 President Captain Dave Matkovich. "The company refuses to move on issues of inefficient scheduling, crew fatigue, unproductive work hours and compensation. We understand the need for our company to maintain its current pay structure and have only asked for a minimal wage increase," Matkovich said.
Major issues concerning the pilots at Sunwing Airlines are scheduling stability, greater productivity while away from home, and the length of continuous time on duty with respect to fatigue.
Meetings with the conciliator and the company are now scheduled for the last week of January and the first week of February.
CAW Support for Nova Scotia Foodbanks
CBC Radio's Mainstreet program in Halifax, Nova Scotia featured a day of programming recently during which listeners made presentations of food and/or money to the charitable organization Feed Nova Scotia. This is the second year that the CAW Social Justice Fund made a presentation during the show.
Pictured are Jennifer Brown, President of CAW Local 4005, Dianne Swinemar, Executive Director of Feed NS and Larry Wark, President of the Halifax Chapter of the CAW Retirees and former CAW Atlantic Area Director.
Jennifer and Larry talked during the radio show about the work of the CAW Social Justice Fund over the past 20 years, including more than $160,000 in donations to food banks across the province. More than 800 pounds of food was collected from CAW workplaces this year.
For more information visit: http://ofl.ca/index.php/campaigns/democraticrights/
We Want to Hear From You: New Union Survey!
Do you have some ideas for the new union? Some thoughts on a new name, logo, possible colours, etc? Now is the time to share them!
The new union Communications Working Group has launched a survey going out to CAW and CEP local unions, leaders, activists, allies, affiliates and others to collect your thoughts on the new name, logo and public image. We want to hear from you!
Take a moment to fill out the short survey online here: http://www.newunionproject.ca/new-union-logo-and-name-survey/ You can also download and print a pdf version. We have attached a copy below for your convenience. Please be sure to fill out the questionnaire and pass it along to your contacts. The deadline for the questionnaire is February 4, 2013.
Stay tuned for the latest information on the new union project at www.newunionproject.ca and don't forget to sign up for updates!
CLC Job Posting
The Canadian Labour Congress has a job vacancy for a Senior Researcher in its Social and Economic Policy Department at CLC headquarters in Ottawa.
The Senior Researcher has broad responsibilities for monitoring and analyzing trends and policies in workplace training and adult learning, and will support and coordinate labour's involvement in the work of the Centre for Workplace Skills (CWS).
Applications will be accepted until January 23, 2013. Refer to bulletin No. 2013-01 in the subject line of your message and send your application to Human Resources, CLC, 2841 Riverside Drive, Ottawa, ON, K1V 8X7 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Bursary Award in B.C.
Madison Jessica Dunstall is the winner of a George Brown - Merl Rodocker Scholarship. Joe Elworthy, president of CAW Local 2200, in New Westminster, British Columbia, presented Madison with a scholarship cheque recently. Jessica's father is Glen Dunstall, a member of CAW Local 2200, who works for Coast Mountain Bus Company.
The George Brown - Merl Rodocker Memorial Bursaries commemorate the outstanding contribution made by trade unionists George Brown and Merl Rodocker. These annual student awards were started by CAIMAW in 1986 have continued since CAIMAW merged into the CAW.
Local 200 Donates to Community Groups
Pictured with cheques from CAW Local 200 are representatives of six community groups. From left, Dan Cassady, CAW Local 200 Financial Secretary; Eileen Clifford, Essex Food Bank; Ron Dunn, Downtown Mission; Jennifer Cline, Well-Come Centre; Chris Taylor, CAW Local 200 President; June Muir and Mike Turnbull, Unemployed Help Centre; Timothy McAllister, Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission; Cathy Masse, Lakeshore Community Food Bank and Marc Renaud, CAW Local 200 Vice-President. (Photo by Gord Gray)
CAW Local 200 in Windsor, Ontario recently donated $30,000 to six community groups to mark the local's 71st anniversary.
The six organizations which received donations from Local 200's Social Justice Fund are the Essex Food Bank, the Downtown Mission, Well-Come Centre for Human Potential, the Unemployed Help Centre, the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission and the Lakeshore Community Food Bank.
CAW Local 200 President Chris Taylor said the money is going back into the community where it's most needed.
To print a copy of the Government Benefits 2013 please click here