By on August 17, 2012

The Canadian Auto Workers union is expected to target Chrysler in the event of a strike, but will reportedly wait until Labor Day before taking action.

CTV News reports that

Tony Faria, an automotive expert at the University of Windsor, predicted Chrysler will be chosen because it has the largest Canadian footprint of the Detroit Three and therefore has the most at stake. “They can least afford a shutdown of operations in Canada, so they’re the most vulnerable in terms of a strike threat,” Faria said Wednesday. “But even though Chrysler is not pushing for two-tiered wages, Chrysler is going to push hard for lower starting wages.”

Canada is home to the plants that build some of Chrysler’s key products, including the Chrysler/Dodge minivans, the Chrysler 300/Dodge Charger and the Dodge Challenger. Canadian sales would be especially impacted in the event of a strike, since Canada is a key market for the Dodge Caravan.

CTV News quotes Faria as saying that Chrysler will probably ask for a further reduction in the starting wage, and an increase in the time it takes workers to reach the maximum wage (from six years to eight years).

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18 Comments on “Report: CAW Will Target Chrysler For Strike...”


  • avatar
    rpol35

    Marchionne will tell them to bring it on. He threatened to move Canadian production to various underutilized U.S. plants back during the 2009 bankruptcy. The two-tiered UAW pay scale is still an inducement for him to take such action, maybe not immediately but pretty quickly.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      In other words, CAW is about to give Marchione the cover he needs to reduce excess capacity, while increasing US employment. That also would drive a wedge between CAW and the UAW. Bad choice for Mr. Lewenza.

  • avatar
    Neb

    One thing I feel like I’m missing in all of this is what’s going on inside the union to drive all this behavior.

    For example, the Canada Post strike last year: ultimately the entire disruption was to protect the jobs of the (older boomer works) who had been made obsolete by upgrades to Canada Post sorting centers. I can’t help but wonder if something similar is behind the CAW’s actions now.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeffer

      Ironically, everytime Canada Post employees take job action, more businesses reduce or eliminate the budget for mail-out advertising and encourage customers to accept e-mail statements and pay on-line.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    Go ahead and strike. US workers need jobs.

  • avatar
    carbiz

    If the 1930s taught us anything, it’s that protectionism, is bad. Fine.
    But what we have today is the exact opposite: globalism pits the Western middle class against the baby-manufacturing countries, such as Brazil, India and China. (At the rate Russia is going, it won’t have the manpower to defend its border against China in 20 years, so it’s good that they are cozying up to the Chinese today.)
    I am not fan of unions. But this battle goes beyond what unions represent. This is a battle for the middle class of North America.
    Posters can joke about ‘old white guys,’ but the fact is that in Canada, the highest jump in unemployment is amongst the 45-55 age bracket for males. Those are supposed to be peak earning years, and those jobs are either being directly outsourced to India and China, or to Indian and Chinese arrivals.
    Ontario has lost 100,000 auto related jobs since 2001. Alberta simply cannot pump enough oil to make up for those higher paying jobs. The U.S. has been trying to do a ‘Japan’ on Mexico for 20 years: it is not working because Japan in the 1950s had very low population growth and Mexico is a baby machine. Labor costs will never rise in Mexico. The middle class in Des Moines, Thunder Bay or Seattle cannot compete with them – ever.
    I worked in a condo sales office 3 years ago where all the administration personnel were white and mid-30s to mid 50s (and largely women.) The entire clientelle were Asian. (The 1,400 units that were being sold were being entirely marketed to Asian arrivals.) When the next big project came along, 3 young, Asian students arrived on the scene. By the end of the project, they were getting all of the hours. Why? They worked 6 days a week, 12 hours a day and never complained. When the next project arrived: everyone was gone, and just the 3 Asians remained.
    This is not a racist diatribe. This is about the fundamentals of a society that has become fat and lazy – perhaps. But are we not all striving for a level of comfort and happiness in our lives? What is the point in turning the clock back 100 years to the sweat shops and 12 hour days that were once the norm? If we cannot reasonably look forward to a time in our lives when we can work 40 hours, enjoy our friends and family, while earning a reasonable income – what is the point to it all?
    To the cheering gallery that thinks it is worth it to save $500 on a car made in Korea, or $200 on a washer made in China, we (as in Canada and the U.S.) need to figure this one out, or in 20 years we will either be overtaken by Asia in innovation and ingenuity, or it simply won’t matter because both our economies will be hollowed out shells that will make the Dirty Thirties look like a garden party.

    • 0 avatar
      Charliej

      As far as Mexico goes, you are wrong. The birth rate for Mexican women is dropping fast. A generation ago the average family was six children. Now it is two children. I hear from the states that labor rates in Mexico are so low. They are lower than the US, but they are rising. I don’t know what auto workers make, but laborers in the Lake Chapala region are paid between two and three dollars per hour. I would think auto workers would make substantially more. Despite what the Republicans say, Mexicans have about stopped moving to the US for work. The poor US economy is keeping them home. The rising Mexican economy is providing jobs for Mexican workers, so they don’t have to leave the country to find work.

  • avatar
    detlump

    Wasn’t the reason Canada was preferred for Chrysler was the lower health care costs and lower dollar? The dollar has been at par for a while, so costs are more in Canada than the US.

  • avatar
    AoLetsGo

    So if you have a “large footprint” in Canada you are Prime target for a strike. Sounds like a good arguement for reducing the size of your foot print.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Mess with the bull, you get the horn!

    If the CAW is foolish enough to strike Chrysler, and I think it is, Marchionne will close a Canadian plant. He has several U.S. facilities he can reopen and lots of industrious Americans who will happily sign-on at $52 an hour everything in.

    Canadian Chrysler workers are at roughly $60 an hour now and looking for more. How stupid is that?

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Hello, CAW. I see a lot of sombreros and huaraches in Chrysler’s manufacturing future.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      There’s not going to be a strike. In the end the CAW will walk away with even less than they have now and learn to like it.

      It’s all posturing on the part of the CAW. There won’t be any strike because the CAW will prefer to remain working.

      They’ll be lucky if Sergio and the Fiat BoD will keep as much production going in Canada as they have now. I would be surprised in Fiat opens new plants in Canada.

  • avatar
    Omnifan

    All the Chrysler workers have to remember is the ElectroMotive strike earlier this year. CAT closed the plant and the workers were left with nothing but a small severance.

  • avatar

    CAW won’t have a Strike anywhere imho! after all Sergio is a Canadian by birth and the Canadian Federal Government who bank rolled the Bail out here in Canada, it would not surprise me if the Federal Labour Minister the Honourable MS. Raith would step in and order the workers back to work’ like she did with the Postal Workers and Air Canada, so time will tell eh?

  • avatar

    The CBC is reporting tonight (Sunday) Aug.19th that the CAW local in Oshawa has given there Local Union the word to Strike General Motors! You can tell it’s that time once again eh?

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @Gentle Ted….Its called a “strike mandate” Translation, maybe ten percent of the “rank and file” show up to vote and give the local the right to strike.

      It means, squat.


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