By on August 27, 2012

Members of the Canadian Auto Workers union have voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike mandate as talks between the union and the Big Three resumed today.

Workers at Chrysler, General Motors and Ford were 99, 98 and 97 percent in favor of striking respectively. The CAW hasn’t gone on strike since 1996, but President Ken Lewenza’s stated promise of no further worker concessions, along with a strong desire to cut costs by the auto makers, will inevitably lead to tough negotiations.

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27 Comments on “CAW Approves Strike Mandate As Talks Resume Today...”


  • avatar
    4-off-the-floor

    Let them strike, no job for you.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Either this is the CAW’s version of trash talking or they’re woefully ignorant of the bad economy. I don’t think Sergio will blink first and will be thanked by GM and Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      Type57SC

      I agree – They are silly to choose Sergio as the negotiating target. He munched on GM for an appetizer for 2B, then had a main course of the auto task force for Chrysler. He’s not someone I’d like to see on the other side of the table, regardless of the strength of his position.

      Also, does Ken sound like he’s loading the gun for Russian Roulette. Maybe the CAW is also the monopoly provider of retraining services in Canada and so this is a brilliant move to grow revenues on that side of the busines.

  • avatar
    Omnifan

    When the jobs leave Canada ala ElectroMotive, please remember to thank the CAW.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      I haven’t seen utlimate union busting like that since Timken reigning in their rogue work forces. CAT did it up right.

      This tough guy approach doesn’t mean the CAW won’t implement the two tier wage system. Technically they won’t be agreeing to a concessions (only for new hires). So those members who vote with their pocket will likely be happy.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    Well then let’s get on with it. Walk the line and see what happens. I don’t think this will be Sergio’s first rodeo.

  • avatar
    Richard1257

    Sergio said back in January at the Auto show “Chrysler cannot pay more money to build cars in Canada than it does in the United States”. Being I work for a supplier to the current Chrysler “Town and Country, and Caravan” if memory serves me right there is a fully tooled van plant that did build the RT van sitting empty and idle in St. Louis. I wonder if there are people in St. Louis willing to work for just a bit more than ½ the wages that are being paid in Windsor Ontario. Hey CAW! Remember what Dr. Edward Deming said “It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory!”

  • avatar
    danio3834

    To be fair, this is only a vote by the members to allow the leadership the power to call a strike should it come to that. It is not a vote FOR a strike. It’s just posturing.

    If the members didn’t vote yes, it would send an obvious message to the companies that they have no faith in their union and there would be no threat of consequence in the bargaining.

    No one wants a strike, however it would be an especially bad move for the CAW.

  • avatar
    Keith_93

    This isn’t good for Canada. Will be interesting if it is just bluster, and how the negotiations progress….

  • avatar
    Polar Bear

    Win the strike and lose the jobs.

  • avatar
    rmwill

    With the Canadian dollar at parity, the influence of the CAW strike threat is rather weak.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Sergio is far too savvy,to tip his hand just yet. One of the cards in hand is “product allocation” With crucial fabrication facilties in Canada, both sides have a lot to lose.

    A strike is highly doubtfull. However, a work interuption, could really hurt Chrysler. Its not going to kill them.

    The CAW,and the Chrsysler rank, and file, would come out the eventual losers.

  • avatar
    dejal1

    The Big 3 should put out press releases stating that they look for a long, bright future in Mexico and that they hope to expand their Mexican facilities. And then do it.

  • avatar
    Nick

    Go ahead and strike. So long as you don’t apply for UI when you are thrown out on your ass.

  • avatar
    oboylepr

    Relax dudes, this is a mandate for a strike not an actual strike. I have no love for the CAW but what’s the point of sending in a negotiating team into contract talks without some leverage even if you hope like hell that you don’t actually have to use it. It’s what unions do. The real issue is what the union feels it can recommend to the membership to accept if anything, and then whether the membership accept it or not. Only then will we know if the CAW really has their finger on the pulse of the industry. Intersting times.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    When the last unionista walks out of the last unionized Canadian auto plant the union bosses will still have their jobs and perks.

    Mexico is smiling today.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Those of us executing programs in Mexico are not smiling. This country sucks hard.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      This could provide an opportunity to move Canadian assembly to low-cost right-to-work states. The UAW would raise a fuss, and there’s probably some language in the UAW contract to support an objection, but Sergio is the kind of guy who could move CAW-striking operations to RTW states while the lawyers are talking, signing the UAW’s death warrant in the process. Somebody tell me why that can’t happen.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    My union always votes to authorize a strike, and it has never striked (stricken? stroke? striciceed?) in its history. This is necessary posturing. It is too early to say if it will ever be more than that.

  • avatar
    Pastor Glenn

    Don’t take this wrong, everybody; but Unions have had their day, IMHO. Plus I truly love Canada. But let’s be honest; with the Auto Pact (1965) and later NAFTA, the Canadians really did well over the prior 47 years – and now they’ve got to step up and share the pain. Or they will be in even more pain if they don’t.

    Sergio; does Chrysler still ‘possess’ the rights to corporate structure which once was American Motors Corporation? AMC has obviously not had a union contract since 1987. I think the UAW has nothing to go on in terms of claiming it should have one.

    Here’s a thought: re-establish AMC as a wholly owned contract auto manufacturing company in work-to-right states with a new factory, and simply move minivan and Chrysler 300 + Dodge Challenger production to the new facility.

    If Packard could build a brand new plant for the Rolls-Royce Merlin in a matter of a few months, you could do it too. But given the rush, you might have to forego ‘perks’ from the various states vying for the jobs.

    A great place to start would be the ‘not chosen’ sites which Volkswagen, Hyundai, Kia, etc., didn’t take as their 1st choices.


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