CAW GM Talks Open

Toronto, Ontario

July 19, 2005


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CAW GM Talks Open
CAW GM Talks Open
dated July 19, 2005

July 19, 2005
Toronto, Ontario

       With hand shakes all around the 2005 bargaining between the Canadian Auto Workers union and General Motors Canada got underway in Toronto, Ontario.
       In the opening meeting the CAW bargaining committee, headed by national president Buzz Hargrove and GM master bargaining chair Chris Buckley, outlined the union's basic bargaining demands and the company responded with their position. Afterwards Hargrove spoke to the news media.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "I think the opening was respectful and cordial, but Mr. Grimaldi, I think, wrapped it up in the end when he said it was going to be a tough set of negotiations. I think that is probably an accurate description of what we face."

       Despite the current problems facing the auto industry, Hargrove said General Motors Canada made a profit last year of approximately $400 million dollars.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "General Motors enters bargaining in a good position to share with the workers, their families and the retirees. And we outlined an agenda that has as our first priority, looking after our retirees who have historically made the company successful in Canada."

       Hargrove pointed out that GM's and the industry's problems are not labour costs, they are unfair trade from offshore imports.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "There has to be a reciprocal agreement on trade. You have to be able to build vehicles in Canada and sell them in Japan and Korea and at some point in China as opposed to them simply building over there, selling in their home market and protecting and shipping in here."
       "We have to start forcing open those markets or you are going to see a continuing decline in jobs and investments in the auto industry in North America. That's the stark reality of it. It has nothing to do with labour costs. It's to do with trade. Our labour cost, our all-in labour costs are lower than Japan's."


       Hargrove said the union will be looking to improve wages, time off the job and local working conditions, among other items. The deadline to complete bargaining is September 20th. Local bargaining will continue until the target company is selected on Labour Day. Chris Buckley says his members are ready to lead the bargaining.

Chris Buckley
GM Master Bargaining Committee Chair

       "Our membership throughout the GM chain has earned the right to a new, respectful collective agreement and we'll bring one home for them."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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