July 21, 1999
1999 Big Three Bargaining
CAW OPENS BARGAINING AT BIG THREE
(Toronto) - Bargaining between the Canadian Auto Workers union and each of the Big Three automakers officially kicked off the week of July 19.
CAW president Buzz Hargrove, along with the master bargaining committees from GM, Ford and DaimlerChrysler outlined the key issues in the 1999 round of bargaining to company officials during meetings in Toronto.
Hargrove said the CAW wasn't looking for a fight and was hopeful collective agreements can be reached without a strike. But he told executives from each company that the CAW was prepared to do whatever it takes to win contracts that provide gains for its members, their families and communities.
High on the list of priorities for 1999 bargaining is pension gains for the thousands of future and current retirees. Hargrove said some of the other key issues for the union are higher wages, improved benefits, reduced work time, protection from the negative impact of modular production, a neutrality letter on parts supplier organizing drives and commitments for future work at plants across the Big Three.
Asked if a target for pattern bargaining had been selected, Hargrove said that if he had to pick now it would be Ford. But he added that it's still early and a lot can change very quickly. More discussion and work lie ahead before a final decision is made.
He said anyone of the three could be selected as the target.
Hargrove will announce the strike target for this round of bargaining shortly after Labour Day.
The expiry date for the current agreements is September 21.