Big 3 Bargaining Gains


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Big 3 Bargaining Gains
Big 3 Bargaining Gains
dated October 29, 1999

The outcome of the 1999 "Big 3" bargaining has positioned the Canadian Auto Workers to meet the challenges of the next century according the National President Buzz Hargrove.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President



"It has really launched us on a very successful bargaining program for the new millenium. And it has also brought a challenge to the labour movement to say you have to be willing to fight. Our slogan says, "fighting back makes a difference". Believe me, we didn't get this agreement because we are the best bargainers in the labour movement. We got it because we mobilize. We are ready to fight. We took on General Motors in 96 when they tried to roll back the clock on pattern bargaining and that meant we got a settlement in all three companies without a strike. An incredible accomplishment for our members, their families and communities and the labour movement in Canada if they take advantage of it."

The economic package including COLA of a 4.5 per cent wage increase per year along with a 25 % increase in basic retirement benefits, and a break through in childcare benefits and post secondary tuition fee support for dependants are just a few of the major gains. The agreements also addressed many of the investment issues that affect the future security of CAW members at Ford, DiamlerChrysler and GM.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

"We got excellent collective agreement for our members, their families and their communities. Again, we have kept our commitment to the community in terms of ensuring that new jobs will be created through our time off the job and our retirement program."
"Our members at every location, with exception of the anger because of local conditions in Oshawa, were elated. Even in Oshawa not one person questioned or said the economic agreement you guys bargained is anything but great."

Getting the Big Three to sign a neutrality letter with respect to organizing big 3 parts suppliers according to Hargrove is another key win for the union.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President




"Well it's a real opportunity. Since we didn't have a major strike, it allows us to put more resources into organizing. We have a neutrality letter from the companies that worked very well with Magna; it should work well with the rest of our organizing. It really said that the company respects the role of the union in the workplace and they expect the people who provide the parts and the supplies to the facility to respect the union as well. All of that can be very, very positive.
So there's a real opportunity here."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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