GM Taunts CAW With U.S. Transplants' Compensation

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
gm taunts caw with u s transplants compensation

GM Canada is going on the offensive re: its contract negotiations with the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union this September. They've released a "background paper" claiming the total cost (wages, pensions, benefits, etc.) for one hour's work in Canada runs the automaker $77.75. Instead of comparing those wages to other industries in Canada or "core" U.S. GM workers' ($70/hour), the paper uses the U.S. transplants for comparison ($47.50/hour). Report on Business quotes GM Canada spokesman Stew Low: "The status quo just won't do." CAW president Buzz Hargrove responded with righteous indignation. "I've told Rick Wagoner, I've told the head people at Ford and Chrysler – all of them – that there's absolutely no way in hell [we'll agree to reductions in wages, health care benefits or pensions]." The CAW says it's willing to "look at" the amount of paid time off they get. GM claims CAW employees get 155 more hours per year off and 16 minutes break time a day than… the transplants. Fair enough?

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  • on Apr 19, 2008

    The death of the Big 2.8 is their fault. Why try to blame the taxpayer/consumers. I have worked in the Big 2.8 plants for years, and to see the laziness, it is quite unbelievable.

  • Rear-Wheel Drive Rear-Wheel Drive on Apr 19, 2008

    Buzz is probably all worked up because he can see the Oshawa facility in decline in future years. They expected to get the 2010 Chevrolet Impala/Caprice off the long wheelbase WM-platform Zeta from Holden in Australia. It appears that GM have cold feet on this car - because a FWD equivalent would get 1 (count'em!) mpg more! Not a good enough reason to cancel a new product that every GM enthusiast has been clamouring for for years. To meet the new CAFE regs, they are going to have to do a major remix of their product lines - probably cutting truck and SUV production in favour of cars. 1 mpg ain't going to cut it! (As you can see by my handle, I admit a certain amount of prejudice on this one.)

  • LastResort LastResort on Apr 19, 2008

    Relish is a pretty strong word, but I would certainly be counted in the "lack of sympathy" department. $77/hour is unsustainable, and the assumption that it should be is disconnected from reality. And the supposed dependence of the economy on such artificial pay scales is not a justification to support it. None of this implies that the Management isn't equally at fault.

  • Stc33 Stc33 on Apr 20, 2008

    The way I see it, anytime that Buzz is upset and doesn't get what he wants, non-CAW Canadian and Ontario taxpayers typically win.