Issue #9 - September 12, 1996 - Hargrove More Convinced Strike Can't Be Avoided

Issue #9 - September 12, 1996 - Hargrove More Convinced Strike Can't Be Avoided

(Toronto) --Chrysler’s initial economic offer presented to the union Thursday morning left CAW president Buzz Hargrove "more convinced than ever" a strike cannot be avoided.

"The offer did not meet the union’s concerns on wages, time off the job, lean production, outsourcing and legislative issues. I am concerned the company has not taken us seriously on the issue of reduced work time."

Hargrove said the company completely ignored the union’s clear stand on health care. The proposal contained co-pays, user fees and a watering down of benefits in many areas.

"We are not going to allow the Harris and Chretien downloading of health care costs onto our members and their families to be carried out by Chrysler Canada."

Chrysler’s proposal failed to address the skilled trades issues, early retirement incentives and other benefit improvements the union proposed. Serious office and security guard issues are also outstanding.

Hargrove said Chrysler’s new hire wage rate proposal extending the time before new hires reach the normal wage and lowering the starting rate is unacceptable.

"Chrysler did change its stance on the length of the agreement - they are proposing three years. The company’s proposal also recognized the long-standing principle of wage increases rolled into the base rate in each year of the agreement."

On outsourcing, the company’s proposal did not recognize the union’s principle of "work ownership" after the union had tabled a comprehensive proposal on outsourcing late Wednesday. "When we produce a quality product in a productive manner that is profitable and reasonably low cost we have a right to job security," said Hargrove.

"In the past the corporations have always said if we meet that criteria our jobs are secure. Now, in the 1990s the companies are selling those jobs to the lowest bidder.
They are moving the goal posts and we must respond.

We cannot allow Chrysler to have the unilateral right to sell our jobs to the lowest bidder."

The union’s proposal on outsourcing gives the corporation flexibility to adapt to technological and market changes said Hargrove. "All stakeholders including our members, their families and the community have a right to share in the success of the company - not just the corporate executives and shareholders."


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