CAW Defends its Right to Political Freedom - Drops NDP Affiliation

April 5, 2006


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CAW Defends Its Right To Political Freedom - Drops NDP Affiliation
CAW Defends Its Right To Political Freedom - Drops NDP Affiliation
dated April 5, 2006

London, Ontario
April 4, 2006

Kitchener, Ontario
April 4, 2006

       Rank and file leaders in the Canadian Auto Workers union in Ontario like those meeting here in London and in Kitchener on Tuesday, April 4th, have endorsed a motion to withdraw their support from the NDP, reaffirming their strategy to engage in politics independently, to develop coalitions and to fight for issues effecting workers, their families and communities.
       CAW national president Buzz Hargrove defended the union's right to support strategic voting in the last federal election.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "The question for us is, are we saying we're going to be subservient to the NDP? That a decision we make, the NDP can say no you don't have a right to make that decision; that your president doesn't have the right to carry out that decision?"

       The CAW Council in December endorsed strategic voting. CAW economist, Jim Stanford, said a Decima poll showed that 2/3 of the voters in Canada heard the CAW message; and in Ontario 20 % of the voters said the CAW's message influenced their vote.

Jim Stanford
CAW Economist

       "Decima says it clearly "the CAW helped to prevent a Conservative majority government by influencing strategic voters in Ontario."

       Hargrove warned the leaders that there was a tough fight ahead to stop Harper and his right wing agenda.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "If you are blocked out of the political system. If the political leadership of the country won't meet and talk about your issues then you have no choice but to go to the street. And I think that's where we are heading. I hope I am wrong. I hope with a minority government we can have some input. But I don't believe it. I believe that this parliament is going to be about political gains verses gains for working people."

       On April 21st the CAW Council will debate the resolution in Port Elgin. In the meantime Hargrove said the union will continue it's strategy of issue based politics. 

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "We're going to continue to lead. And we are going to challenge. We're going to lead on the left in the country. We're going to lead in the labour movement. We're going to challenge the corporate agenda. We're going to lead by actions as well as words. We're going to take on the fight. When the fight is there, there is no union does it like our union."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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