CAW Skilled Trades Take a Stand Against Two-tier Wage System

Toronto, Ontario

February 20, 2008


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CAW Skilled Trades Take a Stand Against Two-tier Wage System

The CAW Skilled Trades Council is prepared to fight any two-tier wage system. During the Council's Collective Bargaining Conference in Toronto February 20, 2008, CAW National President Buzz Hargrove told the delegates that the 2008 round of bargaining was going to be tough.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

"We're getting ready for a fight if necessary. And we are sending a message to the companies, "we don't want a fight but there are some things that we can't and will not agree to."
Hargrove said if the CAW accepted the two-tier wage system it would be a disaster for every union in the country.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

"If we do that that will have an impact on every set of negotiations across Canada. Whether it is in our union, whether it is the Steelworkers, whether it is the public sector workers, regardless of who it is."
During his speech, Hargrove blamed the federal Conservative government in Ottawa for not caring about the crisis in manufacturing, as evidenced by Harper's refusal to invest in the re-opening of the Ford engine plant in Windsor Ontario.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

"The headline reads "Shuttered Ford Plant a Political Football." And here it has got Jim Prentice, the federal Industry Minister saying they will do everything they can to get the plant open but put money in. The one thing we need, he is not doing. And he is blaming the provincial government who are putting the money up for the problem. The reality is, it is the federal government's problem. They are the ones, Harper and Flaherty and Prentice are the ones saying that they are not going to support us."
Hargrove warned against the idea that giving concessions would save jobs.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

"You can't buy job security in bargaining. You can't save any industry or sector in bargaining.
All we can do is stay together and try to build the unity and the leadership and get the solidarity of the membership and get them behind us, which I believe we are doing at every location. And I believe as surely as I am standing here, in our bargaining this year with the auto industry we will prove once again that fighting back makes a difference."
The Skilled Trades Council, which represents the 24,000 skilled trades people in all 17 sectors of the union, unanimously endorsed a resolution against concessions and the two-tier wage system.

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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