September 28, 1999
1999 Big Three Bargaining
CAW/DAIMLER CHRYSLER TALKS MOVE INTO HIGH GREAR
Talks with DaimlerChrysler headed into high gear today with an early morning master committee meeting. A strike deadline of Tuesday, October 5 at 11:59 pm has been set.
CAW president Buzz Hargrove led off discussions by focussing on priority issues outside of the pattern settlement that had to be addressed in order to avoid a dispute.
CAW/DaimlerChrysler Master Bargaining Committee chairperson, Ken Lewenza told the company that he expects Chrysler to recognize the pattern as well as address serious issues particular to the Chrysler operations.
"While some auto analysts are saying the pattern is "rich", Lewenza said, "Chrysler can well afford to recognize the workers' contribution to the corporation's success by accepting the pattern."
On the union's pattern priority issue--pensions--Hargrove stressed certain situations peculiar to Chrysler that need special attention. He also articulated concerns about new products for several facilities such as the Ajax trim plant, Pillette Road and the Etobicoke castings plant.
Other issues specific to the Chrysler negotiations cover aspects of assembly and skilled trades work, office issues, health and safety and benefit coverage.
Eight sub-committees have been bargaining with the company for several weeks as well as local union committees have been meeting their counterparts to hammer out local agreements. While all are reporting some progress, the tough issues remain on the table.