CAW Workers Ratify Chrysler Agreement As The Countdown To 2016 Begins

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
caw workers ratify chrysler agreement as the countdown to 2016 begins

Workers at Chrysler plants in Windsor and Brampton, Ontario ratified the CAW’s labor agreement by an overwhelming majority, despite a lack of new product or investment at either plant.

A new paint shop and a third shift at the Brampton Assembly Plant were rumored in the run-up to the deal, but neither materialized. While current jobs are protected under the agreement, what happens after its expiration at the end of 2016 is now the question on the minds of everyone from plant workers to industry observers.

When we last left off, I put forward the theory that Chrysler could move production of the LX cars to Italy, alongside the rumored baby Jeep that is thought to be part of their plan to export Italian-built cars to North America. TTAC readers suggested that this was a stretch, and the more likely candidate was Mexico. This isn’t out of the realm of possibility, but the question of “what will be built in Italy?” is a big question mark staring us all in the face.

In the mean time, CAW President Ken Lewenza will pursue his “ National Auto Policy“, which demands that the government devalue the Canadian dollar, suspend free trade talks with Japan and South Korea and take equity stakes in OEMs. When the CAW’s Auto Policy initiative was first floated back in April, The Globe and Mail dubbed it “ retrograde“, and some of its tenets, like devaluing Canada’s currency, seem totally implausible to the point where it’s difficult to take the proposal seriously. At best, it’s merely a distraction from the lack of meaningful gains with Chrysler in the areas of product and investment. At worst, it’s a foolish idea with little grounding in reality that will only serve to expedite the process of sending jobs abroad.

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  • Gardiner Westbound Gardiner Westbound on Oct 01, 2012

    The Detroit-3 Canadian workforce has fallen from 70,000 to less than 21,000 in 30 years. Bludgeoning the automakers into accepting unaffordable contracts is hastening the denouement. Unlike the union bosses, the CEOs are not financial nincompoops. Long term they won't pay the world's highest auto assembly wages. Chrysler's refusal to commit to a third shift at the Brampton plant is a thousand jobs that in all likelihood won't happen. Taxpayers will rebel at the thought of another carmaker bailout. Why should they pay for union foolishness? No taxpayer handouts and the American brands will pack up and leave Canada, probably within 10 years. The Japanese carmakers with Canadian plants have to be nervously eying events. They must match CAW wages to keep the barbarians on the far side of the gates. Nor are European and Asian auto companies clamoring to build new Ontario factories. They too are finding Canada unaffordable.

  • Dash riprock Dash riprock on Oct 01, 2012

    First of all devaluing a currency is not as easy as some politicians believe. In the past one of the levers used was to increase/decrease interest rates. With rates within 50 basis points of all time low, the bank of Canada has little room to move. When the cdn dollar was as low as 62 cents to the us dollar, the CAW used this advantage to negotiate a very rich series of contracts, richer than the UAW contracts. This $ advantage could have seen the number of employees in the canadian auto sector greatly increase. Instead the CAW traded increased jobs for increased pay and benefits. Their priviledge to do so, no argument. But now times have changed, my tax dollars have been used to maintain these CAW jobs, now there should be some concern on the CAW part to the sacrifice us taxpayers have made. But true to form, the CAW is only looking to maximize their benefit and to hell with all others.

  • SCE to AUX Good summary.I still think autonomous driving should be banned until some brave mfr claims Level 5 capability, and other distractions like games and videos should only be available for stationary vehicles.As for the A/C, I just turn a knob in my Hyundai EV.
  • MrIcky My bet is flood.
  • Lou_BC "A Stellantis employee recommended the change after they had a near-miss with an emergency vehicle they couldn’t hear."I was at a traffic light and the car next to me had the stereo cranked. My whole truck was vibrating. A firetruck was approaching lights and sirens. They should have seen it since it was approaching from their side. Light changed and they went. It was almost a full on broad-side. People are stupid. A green light at an intersection does not mean it is safe to go. You still have to look especially at a "fresh" green. Idiots run the light, an emergency vehicle is coming, or it's icy and vehicles can't stop.
  • Lou_BC My kids drove around in a 2 wheel drive Chevy Colorado crew cab I bought off a neighbour when they were moving to Alberta. We kept it 4 years but sold it recently due to various engine codes popping up and the engine sounding more tired. It was one of the inline 5's known to have soft valve seats. All I had to repair was new front brakes and rotors, a wheel bearing and a battery. Both kids wrecked a tire clipping a curb. My oldest backed into it with his pickup which required a grill and headlight replacement. We bought a 2008 Corolla as a replacement for my 19 year old. It came with 4 new summers and a set of decent winter tires on rims. We'll run that until it looks like it will implode/explode. My oldest currently has 3 Cherokees (2 for parts), an F150 "Jelly bean", and a Mercury Grand Marquis. Insurance is very expensive for young drivers. That's why beaters can save some money. I haven't put them on my new truck's insurance since that would add around 90 per month in costs. I'll add my oldest to it temporarily so he can use it to get his "full" driver's license.
  • Arthur Dailey I grew up in an era when a teenager could work pumping gas or bussing tables and be able to purchase a vehicle for a couple of thousand dollars and drive it with 'uninsured' status.If a parent advised on the purchase of the vehicle, they would most often point us to a large, stripped/base version, domestic sedan with the smallest possible engine.These cars generally had terrible driving dynamics and little to no safety features, but were easy to work, had large bench seats/interiors and not enough power to get out of their own way.