CAW Launches Getting In Gear Campaign

St. Thomas, Ontario


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CAW Launches Getting In Gear Campaign
CAW Launches Getting In Gear Campaign
dated August 8, 2002

St. Thomas Ontario
August 7, 2002

       The Canadian Auto Workers union launched the "Getting In Gear" campaign in St. Thomas Ontario Wednesday August 7th. CAW National President Buzz Hargrove said the automotive assembly and parts industries in Canada are in a crisis situation, which requires immediate government action.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "This is your industry. This is what it means to your community. Don't let government ignore what's happened and the potential for a massive downsizing of this industry. And here are the jobs, here's what it means in terms of monies coming into the community. You figure out what happens if nothing is done and some of these operations start to move or close, what the impact is going to be." And we are asking people to join with us in insisting that the Canadian government step up to its responsibility and the provincial government to defend the interest of Canadians."

       CAW economist Jim Stanford outlined the success up to 1999 and the dramatic decline in the auto industry since then with 15,000 jobs lost.

Jim Stanford
CAW Economist

       "It wasn't built by accident. It was government policies. First and foremost, the Auto Pact and other policies that supported what the Auto Pact was trying to do, that explain why that plant is down the street, and that other plant is down the highway and why dozens of other businesses have set up here to supply those plants. And we need a new policy vision to replace the Auto Pact. And we've got our ideas about how that can be done but what we really need is a recognition that the industry is in a crisis and the crisis isn't going to go away unless we have some concerted action to turn it around."

       Hargrove said the U.S. is offering incentives to get new auto plants and Canada has to follow suit.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "We should be putting up comparable investment packages to what we see happening in the United States. We should not ignore what is happening. We don't have to like it but we cannot ignore it. If we do, we ignore it at the peril of our local communities and our overall economy in the country."

       The CAW wants to mobilize public opinion by making people aware of the importance of the auto industry and the need for immediate action by both levels of government.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "Because of the way the market looks and the way the job numbers are being defined, the danger is that we are going to allow the Canadian public to "sleepwalk" through a crisis in the most important industry in the Canadian economy. So we would appeal to all of you to join with us to try and strengthen our industry, and by doing that strengthening our communities and strengthen our country."

       The "Getting In Gear" campaign moved on from St. Thomas to Windsor and will also appear in Oshawa, Toronto, St. Catharines- Niagara, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Montreal. A newspaper and radio public information campaign is also underway.

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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