Long Term Contract

May 21, 1998

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Re-Open CN Contract
Long Term Contract
dated May 21, 1998

Long Term Contract
The trend toward long term contracts poses a major threat to all organized workers.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President
"This is the concession of all concession demands. This is really about taking away workers rights to deal with their problems, to bargain with their employer collectively with the tool that is most effective for working people, the right to strike in their back pocket, if necessary. It is very, very dangerous to our movement. "

A decade of free trade agreements, downsizing, deregulation, undermining of social programs, and undermining of collective bargaining through anti-labour legislation, has led to a feeling of insecurity. Corporations are taking advantage of this.


Recently Alcan convinced the FSSA and the SteelWorkers to accept an 18-year agreement, at its Quebec plant, despite the fact that Alcan has always forced the union to the wire before signing an agreement. The companies are calling these stability agreements, but they are not.

Rick Belmont
President CAW Local 2301
Alcan, Kitimat B. C.

"They've got the people bidding for expansions and things. They are convincing the members and actually the communities as well, that the only way that they are going to be able to expand is by entering into these stability agreements. That's not the case at all; they are making money hand over fist and they don't need these things."

The use of threats of closure and moving the operations elsewhere has to be met with resistance. Hargrove says there is only one way to respond to intimidation.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President
"As we always have, in the trenches. What we are best at is fighting if we have leadership. The leadership has to recognize this as a problem, not as a solution. This is a solution for the corporations. The irony of these things is these are corporate demands. These are the companies tabling these demands and they want stability, they want long-term stability but they are not prepared to guarantee jobs in the long term. They just say they will do their best, make their best effort. Well they can do that under a 2 or 3-year agreements, as well as they can under a 5, 10, and 12-year agreement. Working people have the right to go to the bargaining table every three years maximum."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."

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