Issue #23 - October 31, 1996 - "We Could End Up in a Strike"

Issue #23 - October 31, 1996 - "We Could End Up in a Strike"


"No one should underestimate how tough Ford will be in this round of bargaining," said CAW president Buzz Hargrove. "Some analysts are indicating this will be easy and Ford will just follow the pattern."

Ford Master Bargaining Committee Chairperson Bob Such added, " We could end up in a strike. We’ve given the company a full set of our demands which reflect the pattern and issues specific to Ford. We are still waiting for a response on a host of issues."

All committees - the top level economic committee, sub-committees on issues such as benefits, working conditions and health and safety, and local committees - have been meeting but few are reporting progress.

From committee reports it is clear that Ford is taking a particularly tough line at health and safety, skilled trades and local committee meetings. At other committees the company hasn’t even responded to the union’s issues.

"Ford has, on several occasions sent the entire shift home after a worker has been concerned about safety and exercised the legal right to refuse," said Such. "Ford seems intent on penalizing the entire workforce for what is a legal right. Fixing the safety problem would cost a fraction of the lost production but the company doesn’t apply common sense."

Ontario Ministry of Labour statistics on work refusals for 1995 show Ford has had 19 work refusals in the year; Chrysler 12 and General Motors 32. It is clear from the Ministry reports that the work refusals are not frivolous as Ford is claiming.

"Neither Chrysler nor GM send entire shifts home without pay - the practice at Ford has to stop."

The scheduling of the SPA weeks by seniority along with the need for additional skilled trades and apprentices are also important for our membership concluded Such.

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