Ford's CEO Growls at the CAW

Samir Syed
by Samir Syed

The Big 2.8 – United Auto Workers (UAW) negotiations came and went with a couple of day's strike here, a couple of hour's strike there. Motown now turns its attention to Southern Ontario, where all three domestic automakers will be entering negotiations with the Canadian Autoworkers' Union (CAW). Fresh off the unionization of the Canadian auto-parts giant Magna, CAW boss Buzz Hargrove has warned Ford, GM and Chrysler not to seek the same wage, benefit, security and job classification concessions given by the UAW. Last December, Buzz declared "If they want to have a fight with us and they table those issues, there will be a fight." The Globe and Mail reports that Ford's CEO has fired his first shot in the mounting war of words. "The most important conversation we're having in Canada is about competitiveness," Alan Mulally declared. It's a thinly-veiled warning that, given lower-cost options in the U.S. due to good labor deals and the recent appreciation of the Canadian dollar, Canada risks pricing itself out of the auto manufacturing game. Will Buzz really go to the mat? Watch this space.

Samir Syed
Samir Syed

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  • Anonymous Anonymous on Jan 10, 2008

    Mulally's starting to play hardball. Buzz is not stupid but he is a dinasour and seems to think he still has the hammer. Ford also builds the V8 and V10 engines at 2 plants in Windsor, Ont and will soon be announcing the 5.0l for production at the Essex Engine Plant. They also have joint ownership with Nemak of 2 aluminum foundries. Just before Christmas the union membership had a meeting with the plant manager at the V8/V10 engine plants. Mostly all bad news. Ford will no longer subsidize the Al foundries which is probably their death, the V8 line which recently ran 3 shifts and now 2 will likely reduce to one shift and the topper was there will be no more buyouts just layoffs in the future.

  • Humourless Humourless on Jan 11, 2008

    I drive by Ford's Oakville assembly plant every morning. Half the lights in the "Lincoln" part of the "Ford - Lincoln" signage have been have been burnt out since New Years. An omen, surely?

  • Gentle Ted Gentle Ted on Jan 11, 2008

    Maybe its time for Canada to ban Ford vehicles in Canada like Canada did under Trudeau way back in the 70's ie they held up Cars from Japan at the Vancouver,B.C. Port, at that time Trudeau told the Asian manufactures that if they wanted to sell vehicles in Canada they would have to have manufacuring plants here too! Thus we got both Honda and Toyota plants here in S. Ontario and a Pony Plant in Quebec which never did succeed whereas both Honda and Toyota have expanded a lot over the years, we all live in interesting times eh!

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Jan 11, 2008

    Here's an idea, eh. If you work in an auto plant, make arrangements for an oil job in northern Alberta BEFORE Buzz loses your job for you. Cheers.