Time to Get Out of NAFTA

Toronto, Ontario

August 23, 2003


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Time To Get Out Of NAFTA
Time To Get Out Of NAFTA
dated August 23, 2003

       Toronto, Ontario
August 19, 2003

       Unions: Resistance and Renewal was the theme of the 7th Constitutional Convention of the Canadian Auto Workers Union in Toronto August 19th to 22nd. With an election in Ontario and a federal election looming in the near future CAW National President Buzz Hargrove challenged the 260 thousand members in the union to mobilize to fight for the rights of ordinary Canadians.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "I think people are fed up with the simplistic notion of tax cuts and I believe they are rejecting the argument that smaller government is better government. People want efficient government. They want a government that works on behalf of the ordinary person and their communities, not on behalf of the wealthy and powerful. So we have to step up our efforts in every area where we have opportunity, we should be mobilizing our members."

       One of the major challenges facing the union, according to Hargrove, is the need to restore the anti-scab laws that will prevent tragedies like the injuries suffered by CAW pickets during the Navistar strike in Chatham.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "We're going to do everything humanly possible in this election to defeat the Tories. But we are also going to pin down the Liberals and the New Democrats on where they are at. We want anti-scab legislation back to defend the interests of working people in this province."

       On the federal scene Hargrove said there is hope stemming from a renewed New Democratic Party.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "I do want to say on the NDP. The election of Jack Layton. There is a renewed spirit. There is excitement. There's hope for the future. There is new energy. New initiatives."
       "There is a desire to build and to touch base with people and get in on the issues, and he has done an incredible job in spite of the fact that he is not in the House of Commons getting into the media on the important issues of the day."


       With over 12,000 CAW members on layoffs, Hargrove said it's time the federal government got involved in protecting Canadians' jobs instead of corporate profits.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "I believe as strongly as I am standing here that we should say, let's end NAFTA. Let's notify the United States and Mexico that we are getting the hell out of NAFTA. NAFTA is not working for any of the countries."

       Hargrove said it's time for fair trade not free trade.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "If you want to sell in our economy duty free, you must make a commitment to investment and to jobs and security to the workers and their communities. We have to get back to that not only in auto but in aerospace and ship building and the airline industry the fishery industry, oil, water, natural gas. We need policies for people not for the corporations and the wealthy in our country."

       Olivia Chow, Toronto City Councillor, one of the key note speakers at the convention echoed Hargrove's call for political involvement.

Olivia Chow
Toronto City Councillor

       "People coming together. Unions, parties, ordinary people coming together, connecting with each other can make change. And I think we need to say No to the rhetoric that has been told to us that we can not make a difference, because we know we can. We need to get directly involved in the election"

Toronto, Ontario
August 21, 2003

       On Thursday August 21, CAW president Buzz Hargrove, Secretary-Treasurer Jim O'Neil and Quebec Director Luc Desnoyers were re-elected unopposed. Also elected to the National Executive Board were Marilyn Crook, Anne Davidson, Bill King and Nancy McMurphy.

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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