Flint Strike Over

November 5, 1998


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Flint Strike Over
dated November 5, 1998


Flint Strike Over
The General Motors strike in Flint Michigan is over. GM and the United Auto Workers struck a tentative deal after days of intensive bargaining. CAW national president Buzz Hargrove calls the agreement an important victory for labour in the United States.

Buzz Hargrove,
CAW National President

"This is a very important victory. I think it gives heart to General Motors workers and auto workers in the United States. The union can play an important role in defending the rights of workers, their families and their communities, like Flint. But it also gives heart to the labour movement in the U.S. one more time, that the labour movement is still a very important instrument, an institution that is incredibly important for working people"

The lengthy lockout forced the closure of all GM auto plants in Canada and many of its parts suppliers, resulting in the layoff of over 25 thousand CAW members. Hargrove says the strike and all of the hardship it created throughout North America, could have been avoided if GM had only listened to the needs of its workers in Flint and not the advice of Wall Street analysts. He feels GM underestimated the strength of the UAW and the militancy of the American autoworker.

Buzz Hargrove,
CAW National President
"Workers will fight, if the leadership shows that they're prepared to lead and take the corporations on. I think that a lot of U.S. workers who don't have unions will start looking that a union is the way to go"


GM was in danger of losing market share for the new model year had this strike continued much longer, so it had to listen to worker demands. The analysts suggest that investor confidence in GM will suffer because it didn't break the union in Flint dispute. Hargrove calls this short term thinking

Buzz Hargrove,
CAW National President
"Once people start looking at this company, remember it's still the largest company on the fortune 500 list with $178 billion in revenue last year. It made $23 billion in profit since 1993, a five-year period, that's not a bad place to have your money given the environment around the world today. So there'll be some short term concern and moving away from GM but long term, GM is going to be around , they'll be strong".


CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."

 


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