Government to Blame for Navistar Closing

Toronto, Ontario

October 22, 2002


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Government to Blame For Navistar Closing
Government to Blame For Navistar Closing
dated October 22, 2002

       The lack of an auto policy to protect Canada's primary industry is to blame for the announced closing of the Navistar truck plant in Chatham Ontario, according to CAW national president Buzz Hargrove. Speaking to the DaimlerChrysler leadership in Toronto, Hargrove condemned the callous decision of the American based company to close the Chatham Plant and throw over 1,600 CAW members out of work instead of closing a less profitable plant in the U.S.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "If it was just a simple business decision based on cost it should be the American plant, but it isn't. Why? Because American leadership in corporations and government defend the interests of the American people. Where the hell is the Canadian government and our province in defending the interests of Canadians? That's the question we have got to ask."

       Hargrove said it is time for the government to slap import duties on Navistar trucks if the company moves the jobs to Mexico.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "Today there are no rules at all. They are moving our jobs to Mexico where they can hire people for four or five dollars an hour and they are going to continue selling in the Canadian market. To me it is an affront to Canada. It's a slap in the face to the political leadership. It's not just our members and families who will suffer incredibly and their communities around the Chatham area, but to the people of Canada and our government, they are snubbing their nose."

       This summer Navistar tried to use strike breakers in a vicious strike in an effort to get wage concessions from the CAW workers. The Union held its ground, won the strike and a guarantee the plant would not be closed for a year.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "They had a plan to close this plant in June of next year and they wanted a year of cheap labour in Chatham and I am so glad that we did not allow that to happen. That would have been the absolute insult had we had bargained what they wanted and their plan was still there to close our plant."

       It's time, Hargrove said that the federal government stepped up and protected Canadians.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "We have to have rules. If we don't have rules we will not win. Mexico has all the pluses in terms of productivity and quality and cost that we used to have. That used to be our pull and in spite of that we still needed the auto pact. If we don't come to grips with that for the future we are going to lose a lot more of the assembly and parts work in Canada."

       Hargrove plans to meet with both the federal and provincial government to push for an auto policy which will invest in the auto industry to counteract the deals being offered by southern states in the U.S.

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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