By on September 11, 2012

For all the rhetoric being passed back and forth between the OEMs and the CAW in this round of contract negotiations, the overwhelming feeling from our commenters is that there will be no strike, compromise will be had, and somehow, both sides will play it off as a victory. The latest bulletin from the CAW seems to support that notion.

The CAW published this copy of a leaflet, apparently handed out to the rank and file. The leaflet lists some of the automaker demands, including

 eliminating the 30-and-out pension;
creating a two-tier workforce, mirroring the UAW agreement;
moving to a Defined Contribution pension plan even for current workers;
permanently eliminating the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA);
further reducing benefits, including access to prescriptions.

The corporations are also refusing to commit to any new investments, which puts members’ jobs in jeopardy. Each
company has also insisted that any reward or bonus will be paid for by additional cuts to other areas of the agreement

Of course, not all of these demands will go through. But the CAW is already covering their own ass as far as compromises go. And we should expect some hefty ones.

The last paragraph continues this theme. Following a bit about how the union has “no intention of making these kinds of deep cuts again,” it reads

“A week from the deadline, anxiety levels are understandably high and rising. The bargaining committees will do
their best to keep members up to date on the status of negotiations. As September 17 approaches, it is increasingly
important that members at all facilities, in all local unions support their bargaining committees. To reach a deal, it’s
crucial that members continue having faith in their elected representatives and support their bargaining committees.”

And then we have the kicker. The one clause that basically undoes the entire (albeit necessary) “rah-rah solidarity” language of the bulletin

“As the landscape continues to shift, the bargaining committees will also strategically shift approaches with the goalof best protecting members’ interests.”

If that doesn’t say “we are totally willing to compromise to avoid a strike/save our jobs/save our plant” then I don’t know what does. There couldn’t be a better example of corporate doublespeak, buried right below a Fox-worthy tract of “us-versus-them” prose that it almost seems ironic.


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5 Comments on “CAW Leaflet Leaves Door Open For Compromise, Strike Avoidance...”

  • avatar

    Chrysler will will get:

    “creating a two-tier workforce, mirroring the UAW agreement”

    and probably this depending on what it entails:

    “further reducing benefits, including access to prescriptions”

    I don’t see the CAW giving up COLA and their 30-and-out pensions, might just be wish list stuff on the part of mgt.

  • avatar

    Following the discussion, I’ve had to create alternative theories to what is going on with these negotiations.

    1) The CAW talks tough because it knows that it doesn’t really have many cards this time around. Given Harper interfering with all big labor disputes, the ability to strike effectively is doubtful anyway. So talk big and hopefully get a few concessions thanks to that. At least you look tough in the eyes of the members (who after all elect union officials.)

    2) The entire thing is Kabuki theater, with the CAW and the Detroit three working together behind the scenes in complete agreement. The goal? See if they can get some money out of the province for new facilities.

  • avatar

    The CEO of Chrysler talk of moving Production out of Canada, he has to be talking true his “hat” only 5% of any vehicle this Company makes is made up from Wages, the rest is profit, take the example of a Chrysler Van built in Windsor, Ontario is 10,000 dollars cheaper in Florida than it is in Canada, who is kidding who eh? The Canadian Plants in Brampton, Windsor and in the Toronto area where they have a Casting plant make good products and lots of Money for Chrysler!

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