CAW Strike At Key Parts Suppliers

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
caw strike at key parts suppliers

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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  • Oldfatandrich Oldfatandrich on Oct 29, 2012

    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.

  • BrianL BrianL on Oct 29, 2012

    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?

  • Mikey Mikey on Oct 29, 2012

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

    • Acuraandy Acuraandy on Oct 29, 2012

      Sorry for your friend, mikey. I cant even imagine what hes feeling right now. Did he know it was coming at least?

  • Garythompson Garythompson on Oct 30, 2012

    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