October 1, 1999
1999 Big Three Bargaining
ROUND-THE-CLOCK BARGAINING UNDERWAY
With only four days left until the Tuesday midnight strike deadline, talks at the sub-committee level and local union level are proceeding with most reporting progress.
"There are still some tough issues at the sub-committee and local union level talks," said CAW president Buzz Hargrove. Hargrove pointed to several issues including product allocation and also restated the importance of getting a clear understanding of how several pattern issues apply to Chrysler.
"The acceptance by Chrysler of the pattern established in negotiations with Ford appears at this point to not present a problem," said Hargrove, " but before we leave the table we are going to have a very clear understanding of the application of the "neutrality" letter in the Chrysler chain." He pointed to the difficulties workers at Magna's Integram plant and the Daimler Freightliner St. Thomas plant have had in trying to join the CAW. In both situations the company has fought against the union organizing drive.
"Joining a union should be a free democratic right but companies intimidate workers so that the workers begin to believe that if they join the union the company will shut down the plant. "
Ken Lewenza, CAW DaimlerChrysler master bargaining committee chairperson said, "Before we leave the table, we're going to not only have the pattern settlement for workers and retirees, we're going to resolve our local issues and make sure workers have their democratic right to join a union recognized by Chrysler and its parts suppliers."
"The company has yet to table its first economic offer but more than likely we'll see the company bring down an offer before the weekend is over."
Talks continue round-the-clock with optimism that a tentative agreement can be reached prior to the strike deadline of Tuesday, October 5 at 11:59 pm.