September 16, 1999
1999 Big Three Bargaining
"Talks are continuing with all the committees working long hours but progress is slow", said CAW president Buzz Hargrove this morning. "There's plenty of time left at this point to resolve our issues but the pace is going to have to pick up in the next couple of days. The company has to start taking the issues more seriously."
Hargrove noted that the company has not presented the union with its first economic offer and the CAW will be pushing the company to bring it forward by Thursday, September 16. He stated it must come sooner rather than later because, "Pensions, our key demand, can't be left to the last day or two if a settlement is to be reached without a work stoppage"
Wages and benefits, time off the job, and production standards - dealing with excessive workloads or jobs that are overloaded are also a major focus of the union. For skilled trades one of the major issues is training and the ratio of apprentices to journeypersons.
For the Oakville location, the union is pushing hard for increased production with a second shift demand as well as more production for the minivan facility. Getting the company to pin down a date for upgrading the St. Thomas car assembly facilities is a demand. In Windsor, the union has brought to the bargaining table the need to get the company focussed on a long-term plan for the iron casting plant and the Essex engine plant with a view to bringing in new products.
Parts depot and office union representatives are continuing discussions with the company on the union's demand to limit the erosion of jobs and other issues.
The CAW Ford Master committee is stressing that the membership respect the strike deadline of Tuesday, September 21 at 11:59 p.m. in order to maintain maximum pressure on the company up to the deadline. Not respecting the strike deadline could jeopardize negotiations.