Issue #22 - October 28, 1996 - CAW Opens Talks With Ford

Issue #22 - October 28, 1996 - CAW Opens Talks With Ford


Bargaining with the Ford Motor Company got underway Monday, October 28 at Toronto’s Colony Hotel. The strike deadline is set for Wednesday, November 6, at 7 p.m.

"It will be tough bargaining with Ford, it always is," said CAW president Buzz Hargrove shortly after the first meeting between the master bargaining committees.

Hargrove told the company that the pattern set by Chrysler and accepted by GM after a strike should not be a problem for Ford.

Hargrove said the union was working hard to try and get a settlement without the necessity of a strike. Meetings at the sub-committee level and local union committee level are already underway.

"The wages, benefits, ten additional days off, no sale or closure of plants, outsourcing language and the letters which roll-in protection for the right to refuse unsafe work and the hours of work legislation are part of the pattern accepted by Chrysler and GM. "

"The pattern language will be part of Ford’s future," said Hargrove.

The company is already indicating it has a problem with the legal right to refuse unsafe work.

"There’s no case to be made that abuse has occurred and in fact Ford

attempts to intimidate workers by sending entire shifts home without pay when an individual worker refuses unsafe work," explained Hargrove.

At the master table level there are also problems related to office workers, parts depot workers and skilled trades workers which must be addressed.

Bob Such, CAW/Ford Master Bargaining Committee Chairperson also made it clear that there would be no settlement without the pattern and that problems that have built up over the last three years at Ford have to be resolved.

"We also intend to leave here with Ford having a clear understanding of what has been negotiated", said Such.

As with both of the other companies there are problem areas at the local tables that are different from the other two companies and which must be resolved.

Although Hargrove said the company should not leave the tabling of a first economic offer to just hours before the deadline (as GM did) if Ford wants to avoid a strike, chief negotiator for Ford, Don McKenzie, VP Industrial relations said he doesn’t intend to table an offer early.

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