CAW Takes Fair Trade Fight To Ottawa

Ottawa, Ontario

September 20, 2006


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CAW Takes Fair Trade Fight To Ottawa

The Canadian Auto Workers union has taken its fight to get a "fair trade", not a "free trade" agreement with South Korea to Ottawa. CAW national president Buzz Hargrove, secretary treasurer Jim O'Neil and the chairs of the Ford and GM bargaining committees went to Ottawa Tuesday September 19th to meet with Canada's International Trade Minister David Emerson. Prior to the meeting Hargrove said that South Korea already has an unfair trade advantage because their market is closed to Canadian built vehicles. Only 3 % of cars sold in South Korea are built outside that country while in Canada 25 % of cars sold here are built offshore.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

"They are undermining us. While they are opening plants, making new investments, hiring young people, we're closing plants and throwing a lot of young people out of work and ensuring that our future generation has no opportunity in an important industry like the auto industry."

Following the closed meeting with Emerson, Hargrove spoke to the national press gallery.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

"He was very clear today, very relaxed, saying he is not rushing into a free trade agreement, that he wants to consult with us, he wants to talk with us and that he doesn't want to sign an agreement that would undermine Canada's auto industry or any other major industry."

According to Hargrove government studies released on Tuesday showed that a free trade agreement would not help Canada.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

"Why would we enter into an agreement, while we are currently suffering in many sectors of the economy, mainly auto, ship building, machine tooling, etc., enter into another free trade agreement where our own studies show that there is no advantage for Canada, no positive impact on Canada what so ever. Our studies show an incredibly negative impact. Our studies show that we will lose at least 4,000 jobs in Canada's most important industry, the automobile industry."

Hargrove said Emerson promised not to rush into an agreement.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

"Everything that we have been hearing and reading is that they are on a fast track. That somebody has to say we signed another free trade agreement as if it was meaningful and one that is going to be very harmful to Canada. He assured us this morning that wouldn't happen and we have to wait and see."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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