Issue #21 - October 19, 1996 - Union United To Financially Support GM Workers

Issue #21 - October 19, 1996 - Union United To Financially Support GM Workers


"This union has never been more united," said Buzz Hargrove as the Special Convention overwhelmingly passed a resolution providing for a special temporary dues increase to bolster the strike fund in the event the GM strike goes into November.

The convention floor was jammed at Toronto’s International Plaza Hotel on Friday as CAW leadership from coast to coast came together in a massive show of solidarity with the GM workers and their families. CAW representatives from over twelve sectors of the economy - from fishermen, from casino workers, from rail and airline workers, from hotel and restaurant workers, miners, telecommunications and electronics and the auto and auto parts sectors - joined together to ensure GM workers will have the support they need.

Hargrove lifted a stack of support messages which have been pouring in from CAW members, from unions across Canada and around the world.

Delegates gave a standing ovation to the GM bargaining committee and cheered their determination through the Oshawa plant occupation to thwart GM’s attempt to remove 75 dies from the fabrication plant with a court injunction.

The special increase will provide an additional $27 million dollars if the strike lasts into December.

Strike benefits cost close to $5.5 million dollars a week. At the beginning of the strike the strike fund had approximately $50 million in cash and assets.

Nearly 700 delegates approved the special increase with only 2 dissenting. CAW members from coast to coast will be temporarily doubling their monthly dues if the strike goes into November. Locals will have flexibility in the manner of payment. If necessary, payment can be stretched up to October 1997.


Friday night, right after the convention, the master committees from the CAW and GM met to get the tough bargaining underway once again. Both sides agreed to work toward a Monday 12:00 noon deadline. Although Hargrove said he was "cautiously optimistic", he said the company had to get moving quickly at local and sub-committee levels to demonstrate their commitment to reaching an agreement.

CAW local committee negotiators were frustrated at the concession demands still on the table at the local level.

Meetings have been scheduled for Saturday and negotiations are expected to be round-the-clock.

"The Monday noon deadline is serious and if we don’t make it the strike continues," said Hargrove at a news briefing Friday night.

Print Print  Send to a friend Send to a friend  Feedback Feedback