Issue #17 - October 3, 1996 - ON STRIKE FOR THE PATTERN SETTLEMENT

Issue #17 - October 3, 1996 - ON STRIKE FOR THE PATTERN SETTLEMENT

Escalating Strikes:

On Strike


Oct 6


Oct 9


CAW president Buzz Hargrove told the media at a news briefing today, "GM has a gold mine in Canada. We are not asking for more than the Chrysler pattern settlement; we’re asking for the recognition that we’ve made a major contribution to the enormous success of GM."

Talks with GM continued today but Hargrove said GM is ignoring the priority issue and wants to maintain the unilateral right to make outsourcing decisions.

"GM, by every measure can afford the pattern which recognizes the concept of work ownership. Their profits are 17 times higher than Chrysler."

"I believe U.S. GM executives are dictating what’s happening here - that these negotiations are being quarter-backed by Jack Smith, GM’s CEO. They don’t seem to know there’s a border."

"GM is constantly saying it is different. It is different - because of the lower labour costs in Canada, they save $400,000,000 per year by building cars and parts in Canada. GM’s return on capital is 42 per cent; Chrysler’s return on capital is 7 per cent," said Hargrove.

"GM has not made one single economic argument to support why they are refusing to meet the pattern."

Hargrove was questioned by the press about whether he realizes how much this strike can affect Canada. He replied that "every minute, every hour this bargaining committee feels the weight of and the responsibility to our 15,000 members who are on strike and their families, to the rest of the GM membership who are facing strike deadlines, and to the community."

"The solution has to recognize that GM’s success is because of what we do. Their attitude of being dictatorial in the plants is being echoed at the bargaining table. We’ll stay strong for as long as it takes."

In response to a U.S. reporter asking if the strike fund will last Hargrove replied, "We’ll last one day longer than GM. We have a rich history in our union of winning the struggles we take on."

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