Issue #10 - September 16, 1996 - Chrysler's Second Economic Offer a Disappointment

Issue #10 - September 16, 1996 - Chrysler's Second Economic Offer a Disappointment


"To say I’m disappointed is an understatement," declared CAW president Buzz Hargrove after hearing Chrysler’s second economic offer made Sunday morning.

"The company’s continued insistence on concessions in the area of health care is both disturbing and insulting," he added. "At a time when this corporation has made record profits we are not going down the road of concessions. We will not allow the downloading of health care costs on to our membership brought on by the Harris and Chretien governments. This issue alone will mean a strike."

On the key issues of outsourcing, time off the job and, using outside contractors to come in and do skilled trades and production work, Hargrove said, "We are a long way apart with a short time to go. I really don’t think Chrysler has accepted that they must recognize the principle of "work ownership" in 1996 bargaining. When workers are producing a quality product in a productive manner at reasonable cost and generating profit for the corporation, the workers and the communities the plants are in deserve to share in that success."

The company’s second proposal on outsourcing presented to the union Sunday afternoon was a "good news--bad news" situation.

Hargrove said the company’s first proposal recognized the problem of outsourcing then said trust us. "The company’s second proposal is a faint light--a light at the end of a very long tunnel. It recognizes the problem, recognizes the union’s principle of work ownership but still says trust us. The company still retains the unilateral right to outsource work without restriction."

The new hire proposals by Chrysler for a lower starting rate and longer time to reach the normal wage are attempting to make "second class citizens in the workplace".

The review committee, sub-committees and local committees expect to work around-the-clock until the deadline September 17.

"We have a right to share in the success," said Ken Lewenza, CAW Chrysler Master Committee Chairperson. " I reminded Chrysler this morning about the millions paid to Lee Iacocca and Kirk Kerkorian to get them to back off their plan to take control of the company."

Both Hargrove and Lewenza were emphatic about the membership’s willingness to strike on the key issues as well as the concessions.


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