CAW Open Action Centre In Brampton
May 21, 2008
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The 1,000 CAW members laid off at the Chrysler Brampton plant are receiving enhanced services and programs at the new action centre set up by the union and Chrysler. The action centre was officially opened May 21, 2008 in Brampton.
The Centre is jointly funded by the $250,000 negotiated by the CAW with Chrysler along with additional funds from the provincial Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and has already assisted over 500 workers towards getting new training and employment.
Dir. Workplace Training Branch MTCU
"Those are promising figures and those are indicators of what we hope will be a successful action centre initiative here in this community. And finally 1.2 million dollars has been committed by the Ministry of Training and Colleges and Universities for purchase of training for laid off workers through this action centre and that is because of the partnership of the CAW and the partnership with Chrysler and the partnership with the Ministry of Training and Colleges and Universities to put that money on the table to get the training that you need to get the jobs of the future that are going to give you sustainable employment."
Jerry Dias, assistant to CAW president Buzz Hargrove, said while the union, the company and the province are involved, the federal government is not only absent, they are refusing to stem the cause of the lay-offs.
Assistant to CAW President
"We are pulling together to try and help and we need to all pull together because it is a critical time in people's lives.
But I need to explain and I need to challenge the federal government that they have a responsibility as well. They need to help the people who are in transition. They need to come to the pump. They need to put into place an economic situation that creates jobs."
Meanwhile the laid-off workers, like Christal Stevenson, are faced with the cold reality of the lack of good paying jobs, especially manufacturing jobs.
"Looking at the board and seeing the jobs that are available, the wages don't compare at all. A nine dollar an hour job to what I was making, there is no comparison. I can't support my family on $9 an hour. Minimum wage you know, it's absolutely insane."
Dias challenged the federal government to stop the one way trade with Japan and Korea and protect Canadian jobs.
Assistant to CAW President
"The reality is we don't need to be here. If we had fair trade policies that the federal government would implement we wouldn't be here. The reality is that there are three million vehicles that are brought into the North American market and we are selling virtually nil to Japan and South Korea. Can you imagine if we could sell three million vehicles to them. That's ten assembly plants running three full shifts."
CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."