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GM, CAW far apart as strike looms

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Negotiators for the Canadian Auto Workers union and General Motors of Canada Ltd. are still far apart on key issues as the clock ticks toward tomorrow night's deadline for a settlement in contract talks, CAW president Buzz Hargrove says.

The auto maker, which has still not agreed to meet the pattern agreement the union established with GM rivals Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd. and DaimlerChrysler Canada Ltd., wants to outsource about 400 jobs in Oshawa, Ont., and has not indicated that new investments the union wants at some operations are on the way.

"There's no indication whatsoever that General Motors is going to table the pattern," Mr. Hargrove told reporters during a conference call on Saturday.

CAW members at three assembly plants in Oshawa, engine and parts plants in St. Catharines, Ont. and a transmission plant in Windsor, Ont., will walk off the job at 11:59 p.m. tomorrow if there's no deal.

The pattern agreement the CAW has already reached with Ford and DaimlerChrysler includes annual wage increases of 1.5 per cent, 1 per cent and 1 per cent in each of three years, plus a cost-of-living allowance based on the rate of inflation. It includes improvements in pensions and other benefits.

It's the pension increases that GM is most concerned about in the pattern, Mr. Hargrove said.

In weekend voting, Daimler workers overwhelmingly accepted a new three-year labour deal.

Source: http://www.globeinvestor.com/servlet/Artic...0050926/wxrgm26
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Well, there goes the Impala momentum. I say bring in the scabs... 1) GM cannot afford to lose the momentum of the Impala and the strong sales of Lacrosse. 2) GM need not agree to something that is going to bind the company up more than it already is. The equation DOES NOT balance, it's time for union concessions or it's time for the union to walk.
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Agree with all of FOG's comments. There is no way they can strike though, too much is at stake.

[post="20185"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Well, they will strike and hurt GM even more then they are hurt now. GM will lose market share due to lack of product and trust of stabiliy, and the CAW will poke the beast yet again. It's reason for GM, GM fans, and GM dealers to worry, but one thing is starting to show more and more. Every time unions do this crap, they are risking losing their jobs for good. It will hurt seeing all GM vehicles built outside of the USA and to a lesser extent Canada, but we will have to get used to it. Plus we all have to realize that the UAW contract in a couple of years will most likely result into one of the biggest strikes anyone has seen in world history. GM HAS TO GET OUT OF THE USA AND CANADA TO SURVIVE! Sad but true.
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Well, they will strike and hurt GM even more then they are hurt now.  GM will lose market share due to lack of product and trust of stabiliy, and the CAW will poke the beast yet again. It's reason for GM, GM fans, and GM dealers to worry, but one thing is starting to show more and more. Every time unions do this crap, they are risking losing their jobs for good. It will hurt seeing all GM vehicles built outside of the USA and to a lesser extent Canada, but we will have to get used to it. Plus we all have to realize that the UAW contract in a couple of years will most likely result into one of the biggest strikes anyone has seen in world history. GM HAS TO GET OUT OF THE USA AND CANADA TO SURVIVE! Sad but true.

[post="20200"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

You have a lot of good points and they might prove true but I refuse to believe the union will be that pig headed and strike GM now when they know dam well GM has their back to the ground. Hargrove is a bit of a screwball but he needs to help the big 3 get of the mess they're in and surely he knows the last thing GM can afford right now is a strike, but unions have done dummer things in the past so who knows........
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Update:

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian Auto Workers union said on Monday it was "optimistic" after reviewing an economic proposal from General Motors of Canada and felt a deal could be reached later on Monday.

CAW president Buzz Hargrove said a strike at GM Canada could be avoided as the company's proposal was closer to the pattern agreement already accepted by Ford Motor Co. of Canada and DaimlerChrysler Canada.

The CAW represents about 17,500 workers at General Motors and has set a strike deadline of midnight on Tuesday.

But a proposal by the automaker to eliminate as many as 1,050 jobs in St. Catharines, Ontario, and disagreements about a two-minute reduction in break times at its main Oshawa, Ontario operation are still obstacles in negotiations.

"I'm more optimistic today, we should be able to do this in the next few hours," said Hargrove. "The only way we couldn't is if they stuck to their position on reducing our relief and didn't solve the job security issues in St. Catharines, Windsor, Oshawa and Woodstock."

Workers at Ford and DaimlerChrysler have already ratified new three-year agreements.

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strike strike strike c'mon.... i want a replay of what happened at NWA last week. FIREE n REHIREE
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You have a lot of good points and they might prove true but I refuse to believe the union will be that pig headed and strike GM now when they know dam well GM has their back to the ground. Hargrove is a bit of a screwball but he needs to help the big 3 get of the mess they're in and surely he knows the last thing GM can afford right now is a strike, but unions have done dummer things in the past so who knows........

[post="20209"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Well, they have done dumb things in the past but this might be the king of dumb. Remember, unions don't always use logic. :lol:
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Even though the CAW is separate from the UAW, I would think GM would have an eye to the future in their negotiations. After all, if they approve too rich of a deal now, the UAW will want the same in 2 years. I don't believe that the pension/health care costs are the same burden in Canada - at least not yet. Now would be a good time to head them off.
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Since it's in Canada I believe the government pays for health care anyways. I don't see the need for GM not to sign it, as it seems like it's not much of a pay increase. If it does involve health care (which I doubt it does because I think the Canadian government pays for it), then that's another story. Health care is what's killing GM right now, not wages.
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One of the sticking points was Retirees benefits, Ford and DCX only have 9k retirees each but GM has 26k. Anyways, I just saw on Report on Business TV (Kinda like Canada's version of Nightly Business Report) that a deal is very close to being announced. Both sides know a strike is death wish for both sides.
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Complaining about a 2-minute reduction in break time? :huh: :lol: :rolleyes: <_< :angry: :wacko: :blink: :bs: How about a permanent break? :booyah:
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You have a lot of good points and they might prove true but I refuse to believe the union will be that pig headed and strike GM now when they know dam well GM has their back to the ground. Hargrove is a bit of a screwball but he needs to help the big 3 get of the mess they're in and surely he knows the last thing GM can afford right now is a strike, but unions have done dummer things in the past so who knows........

[post="20209"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



If I were a betting man (Which I am) I would bet on a strike, in fact I would COUNT on a strike.

The Unions are COMPLETELY drunk with power, they do not care about the predicament GM is in and they are too short sighted to see what a strike now could do to the future of this company AND their organization.

But the REAL evidence that the union will strike is that they STILL do not believe that GM is in dire straights and even those who do feel that it isn't their problem to begin with. It's almost like a high stakes grudge match between the union and the CEO's and the sad part is, they'll fight blindly to the death... GM, Ford or Chrysler be damned.
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Update:

[post="20287"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Dude, I sure as hell hope GM hasn't caved.

Some give is okay I guess, but to just cave and be passive (like GM always does for the union) would be dumb.

Funny that they (The CAW) are basing the future of the company on 2 minutes
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Is it just me or does forcing your employer to keep you employed sound a little bass ackwards? I believe in the real world you have to do a somewhat decent job for the company to keep employed. Heck, most of the time you just have to show up sober and not risk getting the company a lawsuit to stay employed. Why are they so afraid of getting layed off? If their skills are good as the union keeps making them out to be they should be able to get a job anywhere right?


Because they KNOW they have it made.

They could NEVER find a "fat 'n happy" free ride like this anywhere else.
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Another Update:

TORONTO, Sept. 26 /CNW/ - CAW president Buzz Hargrove will brief the
media on the status of contract talks with General Motors of Canada at 11 a.m.
Tuesday, September 27 in Toronto.
    The briefing will be held in the York Room on the Main Mezzanine level of
the Royal York Hotel, 100 Front Street West.
    Seven subcommittees have wrapped up bargaining and the economic pattern
has been met, but Hargrove said a lot of work remains and that local
bargaining committees and the remaining subcommittees would be working
throughout the night on outstanding issues including job security.

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To me this states an agreement has been reached, however the CAW still needs to work out an agreement with the locals in the area that stressed uncertainties about the national agreement. Which happens here even with the UAW.
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If GM "does a FIAT" (ie caves into) CAW then there's no way they'll get concessions from the UAW.... FIAT + CAW + UAW = Chapter 11
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If GM "does a FIAT" (ie caves into) CAW then there's no way they'll get concessions from the UAW....

FIAT + CAW + UAW = Chapter 11

[post="20657"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


I hate to say it, but chapter 11 might give GM the flexability to start their move out of the USA and Canada. I think we all have to face the fact that unions won't go away and they will keep pulling what they have pulled for decades. GM simply can't survive in this environment. People think a strike here would be bad (which it would), but wait until the UAW contract comes up. GM can't go another contract with rich UAW benefits and concessions. Of coarse the UAW will say NO WAY. I predict a strike to go on for MONTHS with the upcomig UAW contract. Dealers will go under and GM will lose MORE market share. Will Toyota take the lead then?????????? I remember the GM strike of the late 90's, and the dealer I worked at (and still do) was hurt BAD! We had no cars to sell (except Catera's), and so many customers went to the competition due to the lack of inventory to sell. Expect strike with the next UAW contract to be much worse. GM HAS TO GET OUT OF THE USA AND CANADA! Sad but true.
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Well this is really a big mess, because Chrysler and Ford agreed, probably or at least partially in an effort to cause more distress at GM. Some communcations there would have gone a long ways. I hope this does not happen, its completely BS, the auto workers have a great job. I wish I could get cost of living plus a percent, forget it, we are in reverse for over 7 years compared to cost of living let alone any knid of advancement. Finally - Clown - Ive been reading your anti N.American workforce bullshit for a few days now. Why dont you GTF out of N. America, in fact Id be more than willing to help - free of charge. Attitudes like your are no more, in fact less productive to the answer to the N.American economic and labor problems.......TRUE!
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Update:

The Canadian Auto Workers union delayed a scheduled press conference on Tuesday intended to update contract talks with General Motors of Canada <GM.N>, where a strike deadline looms at midnight.

The news conference originally scheduled for 11:00 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) will now convene at 1:00 p.m.

A spokesman for the union did not say whether the delay was a sign that both sides were closing in on a contract deal.

"It's not done," said John McClyment, the CAW's national representative. "It's just the nature of bargaining."

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Update:

A potential strike by 17,000 workers for General Motors Corp. in Canada loomed Tuesday as both sides remained deadlocked over a proposed three-year contract.

Proposed job cuts at some Ontario plants were the main sticking point for representatives of the Canadian Auto Workers, said CAW president Buzz Hargrove. The automaker now faced a 50-50 chance of a strike at midnight Tuesday, he said.

"We really did think we'd have this thing done late this morning or early afternoon, but it's become more difficult than we had anticipated," a worn-looking Hargrove said in a break from talks at a downtown hotel. "There's a lot of very difficult issues related to job security at all locations."

GM plans to cut up to 1,050 jobs in St. Catharines over the period of the contract, while the CAW has demanded work-security guarantees at a transmission plant in Windsor and a parts depot in Woodstock, he said.

GM's Canada spokesman, Stew Low, said he didn't want to predict whether the company would be facing its first strike by Canadian employees since 1996. That lasted for 22 days.

The automaker earlier removed from the table a proposal to trim two minutes from the work breaks of assembly workers at its two car plants and one truck plant in Oshawa, east of Toronto. Those employees will continue to get two, 10-minute breaks and 25 minutes for lunch.

The CAW already has deals with Ford and DaimlerChrysler, and GM has accepted the wage and benefit framework of those agreements. Under the CAW's so-called pattern bargaining with North America's top three automakers, the union reaches financial terms with one company, then demands the other two accept the same deal.

The first agreement, with Ford, allowed for wage improvements of roughly 1.5 percent in the first year of the deal, followed by 1 percent gains in years two and three. It was accepted by a majority of workers on Sept. 18 and a similar agreement was ratified by DaimlerChrysler employees over the weekend.

The DaimlerChrysler deal announced Sunday shaves 1,000 union positions from the company's Ontario plants over the next three years, but no current employees will lose their jobs as positions will be cut through early retirement and attrition.

General Motors, however, has said the pension package agreed to in the other deals will cost it more because the company has more than twice as many retirees than the other two automakers, plus more workers eligible for retirement within the next three years. There are close to 20,000 retirees at GM and up to 5,000 eligible to retire within the next three years.

GM estimated the deal would cost an additional $59 million a year to implement compared with its competitors, or $179 million over the life of the three-year contract, Hargrove said.

Yesterday, Fitch Ratings lowered its assessment of General Motors debt further into junk status, saying the automaker has made little progress in reducing costs and is vulnerable to high gasoline prices.

The decision makes it costlier for GM to refinance debt or borrow further. The automaker has US$136 billion of senior debt and more than US$100 billion in other debt, Fitch said.

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