GM Strike Impact

July 14, 1998


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GM Strike Impact
dated July 14, 1998

GM Strike Impact
Rumors that General Motors could shut down Canadian plants following the two GM strikes in Flint Michigan are fictional and have no basis in fact says CAW National President Buzz Hargrove.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President
"The logic just isn't there. So if you depend on logic. If the argument is that they have to become more efficient and control their cost more you'd think they would almost have to put more of their production into Canadian plants.

The battle will be fought on two fronts, the political front and organizing non-unionized workers.

Hargrove says GM's Canadian operations are the most profitable and most efficient in the company. He points out however that the Flint strikes do threaten the long-term health of GM and that in turn is not good for GM workers anywhere in the world.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President
"There is no way the other two American companies can pick it up. They are running at almost full capacity, so the offshore producers will pick up market share if this continues. That means fewer jobs in the United States and less jobs in Canada"

Hargrove lays the blame for the Flint strikes at the feet of General Motors. The bulldozer approach of GM has resulted in continuing labour unrest in its US operations


Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President
"The GM section of the UAW, they have had about 20 strikes in the last four and a half to five years. The logic of it is not always clear, as you deal with these local issues one at a time. If you are not solving the directional problem then you end up with this kind of dispute, so I am not at all surprised, I'm disappointed and concerned about where it is all heading but I'm not at all surprised. The Flint workers are being made the scapegoats by GM."

Hargrove says GM has to find a better way of dealing with its workers if it wants to remain the largest car maker in the world.


Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President
"We have a tough relationship with GM. Our labour-management relations are the worst of the Big Three. We have been working on that, trying to improve it. We have made some slight improvement but I don't see this impacting at all. General Motors has to decide, in both countries and around the world, to put more resources and pay more attention to the problems of relationships with their unions and their workforce.""


CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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