Issue #4 - September 3, 1996 - Hard Bargaining Begins

Issue #4 - September 3, 1996 - Hard Bargaining Begins


TORONTO -- CAW Chrysler master and local bargaining committees were hard at work by 8 a.m.Tuesday, September 3 after celebrating Labour Day in their communities.

"It will be the most difficult set of contract talks this experienced committee has ever entered," said CAW president Buzz Hargrove. "For the first time since the formation of the union in the 1930s and 1940s we are challenging management rights to outsource work. We are saying where plants are profitable, productive and manufacture a quality product then the principle of work ownership must apply," said Hargrove.

"Workers must escape the constant insecurity forced on them by corporations during profitable times."

Discussions at the bargaining table are covering a wide range of issues. The union’s master committee negotiators and their counterparts at the company are discussing issues in 11 sub-committees which include benefits, health and safety and training, skilled trades, work standards, language, seniority, representation, pay practices, grievance, equity, and wage inequities.

"The committees are already into the meat of the issues," said CAW master committee chairperson Ken Lewenza. " The issues are tough and we want to find a resolution so the hours at the table are going to be very long for the next two weeks."

The top level review committee headed by Hargrove, CAW secretary-treasurer Jim O’Neil and Lewenza will deal with economics as well as the priority issues such as outsourcing, lean production and work hours.

"We not only have to find a resolution for Chrysler workers, we want to send a strong pattern to Ford and General Motors. We would expect the other two committees to do the same for us if they had been chosen as the target," Lewenza said.

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