CAW Fights GM Layoffs

March 8, 1999


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CAW Fights GM Layoffs
CAW Fights GM Layoffs
dated March 3, 1999


CAW Fights GM Layoffs
The recent layoff announcements for 1,100 workers at three General Motors component plants is shocking but not surprising to CAW National President Buzz Hargrove.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

"These decisions are there and the challenge for us as a union is, can we reverse these decisions and what I mean by reversing it is can we get replacement work."

Despite media reports that the layoffs will start in July, Hargrove says he has assurances from GM that no layoffs will occur until after contract negotiations this fall.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

"These layoffs do not take place until we've had a chance to sit around the bargaining table and try to find a solution with the only pressure that working people have and that's a complete shutdown of General motors operations in Canada.
The General Motors workers in St Catharines can't win this on their own. We need the power of all General Motors workers on the picket line if necessary."

The GM workers in St. Catharines are frustrated by the companies attitude which has ignored the high productivity and profit levels the CAW members have delivered on for GM.

Wayne Gates
CAW President local 199

"They are making money. I think they made 7.2 billion dollars worldwide last year and over 2 billion of that was made in Canada. With 5 per cent of the workforce we are making 33 per cent of their profit and now they are taking our jobs away and that's unacceptable."

While isolated strike action at St Catharines has been ruled out, the CAW has just begun its effort to convince GM to bring new work into the plants in St Catharines and make it one of the communities where GM clusters its component production plants

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

"I'm not at all accepting today that General Motors is going to dump these people on the street. We're going to fight like hell to avoid that as we head to the bargaining table and we will, as we always do, make our decisions as we get down to the deadline."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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