CAW Gears Up For Big 3 Bargaining

July 18, 2005


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CAW Gears Up For Big 3 Bargaining
CAW Gears Up For Big 3 Bargaining
dated July 18, 2005

       The Canadian Auto Workers are carrying momentum from their 20th Collective Bargaining and Political Action Convention into Big 3 Bargaining. National President Buzz Hargrove said the bargaining strategy from the convention sets the stage for all CAW bargaining for the next three years.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "Our convention is planned deliberately to fall just before we open Big 3 negotiations and we will do that on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week. And the idea is, when we leave this convention after adopting the collective bargaining program, we present it to the largest corporations that we deal with when we have historically made the most progress of all issues, whether it be wages, pensions, time off the job, healthcare benefits, equality issues, any issue that we deal with."

       The CAW pension plan is a key element in 2005 bargaining. Hundreds of CAW retirees were greeted by applause at the convention and received a commitment from Hargrove that the union would fight for a six-year pension deal.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "We have kept the faith with our retired members and we are going to do that again at the bargaining table in 2005. A six year agreement proves to be in the best interests of our members and a six year agreement is what we will be looking for in our bargaining for both our current retirees and future retirees."

       Hargrove added that the union wants the funding of the pensions guaranteed against bankruptcy and mergers.
       While recognizing that the auto industry has problems, Hargrove pointed out that they are not of the union's making.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "We can't deal with imports and I'll be damned if we'll accept that it is inevitable that the prosperity that we fought for decades to achieve for our members and their families and retirees should evaporate because of a completely stacked world trading system."

       Canadian auto plants have higher productivity and their healthcare costs per car are one tenth of those in the United States.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "I take no pride in saying that our health care costs are only $120. If we can find a way to deliver the same healthcare benefits to our members for only $100 a vehicle than you will find us more than willing but by God we are not going into user fees, and co-pays and taking things away from the drug plan or taking things away from our members on their health care benefits."

       Hargrove warned GM, Ford, and DaimlerChrysler management not to assume the union's reasonable approach is a sign of weakness.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "Don't underestimate our determination. Don't misread us. We're not looking for a strike. We're not looking for a fight. But as always when we go to the bargaining table we are going to be prepared and we are going to have the support of our members and their families, their communities and our retirees as well."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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