September 17, 1999
1999 Big Three Bargaining
A RECIPE FOR A STRIKE
Fords first economic offer, "is a recipe for a strike" said CAW president Buzz Hargrove this morning.
"Given the context of record profits and executive salaries, bonuses, stock options, pensions and perks, and the high quality and productivity of the plants in Canada, this offer is an insult to Ford workers."
"This seriously jeopardizes our relationship with Ford. On pensions - the unions priority issue - for future retirees the offer for the basic pension was an insulting 50 cents in the first year. Theres no increase in the 30-n-out benefit and just as insulting is a one-time lump sum of $500 for pre-1987 retirees.
"On the other key issues - wages, modular production, work standards, time off the job, and the many other master and local issues, the offer totally ignored the unions priorities as well as the discussions that have been held at the bargaining table up to now."
The company also tabled concessions in the benefit areas: for example, 15% co-pays on drugs.
CAW Ford Master Bargaining Committee Chairperson Alex Keeney was "shocked" by the offer and said, "This year when quality, productivity and profits of Ford in Canada are extraordinary by any measure, the offer is more than an insult. I have absolutely no optimism that we can reach a settlement before the deadline."
Ford has earned total profits of over $31 billion (U.S.) since 1994, more than any other auto maker in the world. Most of their profits are generated in North America, with the Canadian operations being especially profitable.
"This proposal seriously breaches the integrity of the relationship between our union, our membership and the Ford Motor Co."