CAW Gearing Up For Restructuring Talks With Big 3

February 17, 2009


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CAW Gearing Up For Restructuring Talks With Big 3

CAW Gearing Up For Restructuring Talks With Big 3
dated February 17, 2009

Toronto, Ontario
February 17, 2009

       At a press conference in Toronto, February 17, CAW president Ken Lewenza called on the federal government to step up to ensure that Canada remains a strong auto-producing nation.

Ken Lewenza
CAW President

       "It is absolutely crucial that the federal government use the power of government, the tools they have in their tool box, to insist that the manufacturing foot print in Canada stays in Canada.. The Canadian operations, every single year have been profitable up until the global financial crisis. So the problem is not our work force. The problem is not our product the problem is the global financial crisis and the credit freeze as a result of it."

       The Canadian plants make up 20 per cent of the Big 3 in North America. Chris Buckley, president of the CAW Auto Council said it is critical that the Canadian Government lives up to it's commitment to ensure that manufacturing foot print is included in the restructuring plans.

Chris Buckley
President CAW Auto Council

       "It's important to remember that back in December; Stephen Harper actually said that his government wouldn't allow the Canadian auto industry to fail. Those were encouraging comments and we encourage our government to get over the discussions with General motors and firm up on the loan guarantees."

       Lewenza said the 500 workplace leaders in the auto sector have endorsed a resolution to enter restructuring talks with General Motors, Chrysler and Ford.

Ken Lewenza
CAW President

       "What we have agreed to do is fully examine our cost competitive advantage with the UAW after their bargaining, take a look at what that means to our Canadian operations and we've committed that the CAW will maintain a competitive advantage in doing business and creating investment decisions for the future here in Canada and protecting jobs."

       Lewenza said he is confident that the Canadian auto industry will come through the restructuring intact. 


       Lewenza reiterated that the CAW in its bargaining last spring saved the auto makers $300 million dollars in each year of the three year agreements. He anticipates the union will have to make even more changes.

Ken Lewenza
CAW President

       "We know that Chrysler, Ford and General Motors is going to be a smaller company and we know based on the global financial crisis and based on what the government is going to put in their terms and conditions that the CAW is going to have to make some compromises. What that looks like I don't know."


CAW Fighting Back Makes A Difference.


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