October 18, 1999
1999 Big Three Bargaining
STAY ON THE JOB UNTIL THE DEADLINE
IF A STRIKE IS NECESSARY PLEASE RESPECT THE DEADLINE
WHICH IS CRUCIAL TO CONTINUING TALKS
TALKS CONTINUE, BUT TOUGH ISSUES REMAIN WITH GM
With less than 48 hours to go before the strike deadline at GM, a number of critically important issues remain unresolved.
CAW president Buzz Hargrove said despite long hours of intense discussions with General Motors negotiators, the company's insistence on outsourcing almost 700 jobs in Oshawa, St. Catharines and Ste-Thérèse continues to be a major stumbling block.
The CAW is determined to ensure that GM renew the "work ownership" language that was first negotiated with GM after a tough three week strike in 1996.
Hargrove said the CAW came to bargaining determined to add jobs, not to agree to outsource our jobs. While there has been some limited movement on this issue, there is a long way to go, he said. At Ste-Thérèse, a plant already struggling with the loss of a shift and no product in three years time, it is insensitive at best for GM to demand more jobs be lost due to outsourcing.
GM still insists it has no new product for Ste-Thérèse after September, 2002.
Hargrove said the union's Ste-Thérèse membership is highly productive, low cost and makes high quality vehicles. "The Quebec workers have more than met the challenge, as have the union and the Quebec government."
"Our members at Ste-Thérèse have earned a commitment from GM," CAW Quebec director Luc Desnoyers said.
"While there has been progress at all local union tables, there are still tough issues to be resolved in the Oshawa local," said Mike Shields, chairperson of the CAW Master Bargaining Committee at GM. "Management's attitude and the lack of respect for the union's and the membership's role in helping to solve problems in the two car plants must be changed," Shields said.