CAW GM Workers Ratify 2005 Contract

Oshawa, Ontario

October 3, 2005


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CAW GM Workers Ratify 2005 Contract
CAW GM Workers Ratify 2005 Contract
dated October 3, 2005

October 2, 2005
Oshawa, Ontario

       The 17,000 workers at General Motors Canada, members of the Canadian Auto Workers union have ratified a new three year agreement with the company by a vote of 79.6%. This brings to a close the 2005 round of Big '3' bargaining. CAW national president Buzz Hargrove said the workers' support shows they understand the need to remain competitive. He also urged workers in Oshawa to join the union in its fight against unfair trade from offshore imports.


Buzz Hargrove
CAW national president

       "I have to plead with you, to engage you to join with us to challenge our government to put a stop to the level of imports and force the others to open their markets to vehicles made in our country. And if we do that brothers and sisters we won't be constantly going into bargaining looking over our shoulder and wondering what's going to happen to our jobs. Hopefully we can get back to where we have jobs being created, not being lost."

       Hargrove said GM wanted to break the pattern established at Ford and demanded a long list of concessions including the loss of two minutes of relief time.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW national president

       "I started my union life in Windsor, working on an assembly line and I know how important a relief system is to our brothers and sisters on the assembly line and I said I would be God damned if I would give up one second of relief for our membership and I am proud to say we didn't do that."

October 2, 2005
St. Catharines, Ontario

       The union also rejected all concessions and instead won modest wage gains of 45 cents a year in the first year and 30 cents a year in each of the next two years, along with improved benefits and pensions. Hargrove told workers in St. Catharines the main achievement was safe-guarding the members livelihoods.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW national president

       "We did protect jobs and we have put together a program that guarantees every worker in St. Catharines will either have work or income over the next three years of this agreement and then we are back to the bargaining table in 2008."

October 1, 2005
Windsor, Ontario

       In Windsor Hargrove told the workers while they didn't get a commitment for a new transmission, they did position the plant to win new work in the future. In the mean time the union has protected the workers for the life of the agreement.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW national president

       "We've bargained a restructuring benefit of $70,000 to encourage people to retire before junior people are laid off. And as Ken Bruner pointed out, we've bargained an inverse seniority system so senior people can volunteer to take some time off to avoid layoffs. And we put $440 million into our SUB fund to guarantee that every member of our union will either have work or income during the life of this agreement. No union does any better than that at the bargaining table brothers and sisters."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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