CAW Demands Immediate Action On The Auto Crisis

December 12, 2008


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CAW Demands Immediate Action On The Auto Crisis
CAW Demands Immediate Action On The Auto Crisis
dated December 12, 2008

Toronto, Ontario
December 12, 2008

       At a press conference in Toronto, December 12, following the rejection of the Big Three request for financial assistance by the U. S. Senate, Canadian Auto Workers President Ken Lewenza made a public appeal to the Conservative government in Ottawa to take immediate action.

Ken Lewenza
CAW President

       "So what we are saying to the Canadian government today is; "take the lead role now." The auto industry is important to the United States, as important as it is in Canada. So today when we take a look at Canada, obviously 300 to 400,000 jobs if not more would be effected if the Canadian auto industry went down. So we are pleading, in particular with Mr. Harper to move and move swiftly in support of the Canadian auto industry and in support of our existing facilities, our existing members and the communities that they obviously live in."

       On the same day, the CAW was dealing with temporary lay offs announced at all its assembly plants, as a result of the dramatic 40% collapse in auto sales in Canada and the U.S.

Jim Stanford
CAW Economist

       "With auto sales collapsing like that, you know you are going to have significant down time at your plants. That's not unexpected. The bigger problem for us is to insure that that temporary collapse in auto sales which reflects the financial crisis does not take the industry itself down. The companies have to be able to survive this downturn until sales pick up again and then we can carry forward.

       Lewenza stressed that the blame for the auto crisis does not lie with the auto workers, their wages or benefits.

Ken Lewenza
CAW President

       The UAW and CAW members can not be scape-goats as a result of this global financial crisis. The reality is, we could work for nothing today and it wouldn't improve the global financial crisis that we are experiencing."

       Later on December 12, the federal government with the Ontario provincial government announced they would provide assistance to the Big Three equal to 20 per cent of the U.S. aid package, a sum of approximately $3.4 billion.

CAW Fighting Back Makes A Difference.


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