Auto Industry Crisis Demands Government Action

Toronto, Ontario

May 7, 2002


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Auto Industry Crisis Demands Government Action
Auto Industry Crisis Demands Government Action
dated May 7, 2002

Toronto Ontario
May 7, 2002
       The auto industry is in a crisis and the federal and provincial governments have to get involved in the solution according to CAW National President Buzz Hargrove. Speaking to the 900 delegates attending the 2002 CAW Bargaining Convention in Toronto, Hargrove said other countries including the United States, Germany and Britain are already offering investment incentives to attract automakers.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "And some people say isn't that terrible. They pretend to be free traders and they protect their market. Well good on them. Good on them. What the hell is wrong with the political leadership in this country that we can't rise up and defend the interests of our people? That's what we should be demanding brothers and sisters."

       Over 12,000 auto workers have been laid off since the Auto Pact was abandoned. Hargrove says it is going to get worse unless governments act.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "If you give up on the idea that you can control the corporations through legislations, through Auto Pact type of arrangements. If you give up the tools of government to force investment then you are left no choice but putting out a blank check to the corporations. And we are going to lose a lot more production and jobs in this country if our government doesn't get off of it's ass and start using both the stick again and the carrot."

       While demanding government action, Hargrove warned the Big Three not to assume the CAW is weak as it goes into negotiations for a new three year agreement with the automakers.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "Don't misread our campaign on the auto industry and our concern about the situation we face as a union, where our members are losing their jobs in some of the plants and closures are scheduled and we are out there demanding the government do something about it. But don't misread that that some how means that you are going to get a cheap agreement out of our union. That's not the case. Our members have produced a lot of wealth for General Motors, Ford and Daimler Chrysler. Their families and our communities are going to continue to share in the wealth that we create."

       Wages and improved benefits are key issues according to Hargrove along with the challenge of lost production jobs announced by Ford, Daimler Chrysler and G.M. Dealing with the lost production jobs will mean taking on the issue of unnecessary overtime according to Hargrove.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "I'm absolutely confident that with the unity of the leadership and the solidarity of the membership that we will identify one of the companies for our target and we'll go about the business of bargaining and by God we're going to bring back to our members in all three companies and agreement that they can be damn proud of and the total union will feel good about. That's our commitment to you."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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