By on October 29, 2012

The drama over a possible strike at the Big Three was averted this summer, but it ain’t over yet; roughly 75 employees walked off the job at two key suppliers this weekend.

Westcast and Lear were affected by the job action. Automotive News, citing information from Westcast, reports that the exhaust manifold supplier has a 65 percent market share among the Big Three, and a 51 percent market share overall. General Motors will take the brunt of the job action at Lear, as workers walked off the job at their seat plant near Toronto. The plant supplies seats for vehicles assembled at GM’s Oshawa plant.

A statement released by the union regarding Westcast said that

“In the last few days, we’ve learned that General Motors intends to move the current work performed at Wescast to a facility in China. There is absolutely no reason that our members should agree to a new contract that undercuts their own jobs.”

Westcast announced this summer that it had struck a deal to be bought by Sichuan Bohong Industry Co, but the deal has yet to be finalized.

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17 Comments on “CAW Strike At Key Parts Suppliers...”


  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    The CAW death march continues….

  • avatar

    I am sure if this occurred in the USA, there would be held to pay, but here we seem to be “pussy cats” in this regard
    The remark about the CAW death march has no place in this matter period!
    If certain people where losing there income, would you like it Mr. Garndiner?

    • 0 avatar
      Gardiner Westbound

      When the C$ was worth less than the US$ the CAW rationalized higher Canadian wages saying our autoworkers were being paid in cheaper dollars. Now with the currency at par it wants to bury that rationalization, apparently until the last unionista is unemployed.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Wow…I missed this one, I thought Lear had settled. I guess I’m out of touch.

    Lear was? a crucial supplier. The Lear trucks would come in with the seats scheduled, and sequenced. As a reciever we always worked with “just in time”…Lear took J.I.T to awhole different level.

    In my day, the plant would be down in a matter of hours.I’m not sure if its still the case today.

    @ Gentle Ted…There is a certain element of people that take joy out of others misfortune. Seeing folks that they percieve to be in a lower socio economic position than themselves, getting trampled down,gives them great comfort.

    I pity such people.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Does Sichuan Bohong plan to move to Westcast to China or leave it in Canada? Mikey, hate for the UAW/CAW is strong on here. I’m a strong trade unionist and oh how I miss working outside.

  • avatar
    acuraandy

    There are unanswered questions in the Union statement. Does Sechewan WTF company intend to keep the Canadian plant open? Perhaps the workers were against impending….GASP….pay cuts???

    Earth to Ottawa, count your blessings on the fact you still have jobs….

  • avatar
    92golf

    On the news this morning they said that the Wescast workers hadn’t had a raise in nine years and that the company was asking for a $3.00/hour pay cut. I don’t know what the other bargaining points may be and I don’t know their current average hourly wage.

    There may be other factors as well. I’m not familiar with the situation.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      If your facts are correct, that’s a serious grievance. I’m sure Westcast didn’t expect such an offer to be accepted, but it was probably an attempt to communicate that otherwise, the work would go to China.

      Sadly, fighting for more pay rather than accepting less will only accelerate the outsourcing. There are no good answers.

    • 0 avatar
      acuraandy

      @92golf, gslippy:

      From a working class perspective, thats a bit more than a grievance, thats pure and unadulterated bullshit.

      Speaking for myself, and i’m pretty pro-business, id probably walk out too (provided the pay cuts are true)

      • 0 avatar
        92golf

        @acuraandy

        Oh, I completely agree that it’s bullshit if what was reported was true.

        Not just from a working class perspective either. From anyones viewpoint being told that you have to accept a significant paycut is bad enough; to accept that without any ironclad guarantees that your workplace will remain open and operating in the future? I don’t think they really had a choice other than to go out.

        I wrote the info the way I did only because I really don’t have any close knowledge of what the issues and numbers are in this situation.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Since the US and Canadian governments still own a significant piece of GM, maybe Mr. Obama can address the intended outsourcing of seats and exhaust manifolds to China. I thought only Mr. Romney endorsed such job-killing behavior.

  • avatar
    oldfatandrich

    Capital is deployed in a manner which maximizes the prospective return to the investor. With all due respect to the remaining few members of the UAW and CAW, it is amazing that unions have not yet figured out this most basic rule of economics. Absent that understanding, perhaps they ought to lobby for a re-opening of the textile mills in Lawrence, Lowell and Fall River—maybe Obama will spot them a few dollars a la Solyndra.

  • avatar
    BrianL

    Am I misunderstanding something? The Westcast was bought out by a Chinese company. How is GM shipping the jobs to China? Is GM no longer going to use Westcast? Is there something in the contract that GM dictates where the parts are made? Is GM going to use a different company to make these parts?

  • avatar
    mikey

    My buddy with 38 years in, was laid off at the end of his shift, today at Oshawa GM.

  • avatar
    garythompson

    I am sorry for anyone loosing their job in these tough times. I don’t know all the details of the wage issues, so I won’t comment on that, however I will say what does anyone expect if a company is sold to the Chinese? (and no, I don’t mean to lump all Chinese companies together, it’s just that many them are owned or controlled by the Chinese government so that distinguishing between a true business decision and a government policy is difficult at best.) The answer might be to not sell your company to a foreign owner whose interests will obviously lie abroad. Would it have been possible for the workers and perhaps some Canadian investors to have purchased the plant? Why do the original owners want to sell? I had similar thoughts when one of the shale oil firms was recently sold. I wonder if anyone is really looking at the long term effects of these decisions. :S


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