CAW Council Overwhelmingly Endorses Magna Framework of Fairness
December 7, 2007
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December 7, 2007
The Canadian Auto Workers Council overwhelmingly endorsed the union's Framework of Fairness Agreement with auto parts maker Magna during their meeting in Toronto Ontario December 7th, 2007.
CEO Habitat For Humanity Toronto
"I recommend that the Council go on record supporting the NEB's decision to welcome the Magna Workers to the CAW under the recently negotiated Framework of Fairness agreement. All those in favour please stand. Down please. All those opposed please stand. Overwhelmingly endorsed."
Out of more than 800 delegates there were only 25 who voted against the resolution. The decision came following a day long debate which saw 32 delegates speak on the issue after hearing from CAW National President Buzz Hargrove.
CAW National President
"This is about the right of a wonderful group of workers to be able to make a decision on whether or not they want a union."
"The Magna Agreement that we just signed, the first one, will be the best collective agreement in the parts industry that we will sign this year. Brothers and Sisters. So, we are negotiating, now you compare that. We now have brought in 250 workers from the largest automotive employer of auto workers in Canada. We have bargained increases in every year of the agreement. Compare that to the UAW and the General Motors agreement that cut the wages of the workers. Four years, no wage increases."
The debate was passionate and detailed. CAW economist Jim Stanford outlined the critical importance of union density which has been cut in half since the early 1970s and as of 2006 was at 17 per cent.
CAW Skilled Trades Council
"I stand in support of their right to join our union, regardless of the fact that they don't have the right to strike. We can put agreements on the table today and you can look at agreements rights across our union. We don't have everything we want but we do support the right to move forward. And that is what this is about. It is about the right of Canadian workers to join the union."
A number of delegates voiced opposition because of the no strike clause. Several of the delegates underlined their position that once the decision was made they would follow it in solidarity.
CAW Retirees executive
"We have not always had everything in writing. We have always done what we had to do. I urge everyone in this room to not shut the door on the faces of these workers. They need us and we need them. It's that simple-."
Just before the vote, Moe Soydanbay, the new chairperson or employee advocate at the first Magna plant organized under the framework of fairness summed up the feeling of the 250 workers he represents.
Plant Chair, Magna Windsor Modules.
"I know that our Magna workers need the CAW now and for the rest of our futures. And for last, I'm ecstatic on being here. Like you wouldn't even know. I wish you could be in my brain right about now. And in my heart. Oh yeah I might be big but this is bigger."
The endorsement clears the way for the union to organize 18,000 Magna workers without any management interference.
CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."