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CAW President Hargrove Responds

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Hargrove: Up to 100,000 Canadian workers could be idled by UAW strike
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1 minute ago | Link to Original Article @ The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Tens of thousands of workers at General Motors of Canada and in the Canadian auto parts industry are being immediately hit by the impact of the strike against GM in the United States, Canadian Auto Workers president Buzz Hargrove said Monday.

"It's not inconceivable that by the end of this week we could have anywhere between 80,000 and 100,000 people unemployed - mostly in Ontario, some in Quebec - as a result of the dispute," Hargrove said.

The walkout by 73,000 United Auto Workers members, with the UAW saying talks were hung up on job security, originates in the automaker's effort to shift the pain of "unfair" imports onto workers, Hargrove told a news conference.

And he indicated he suspects GM will take a similar approach in negotiations with its Canadian workforce next year.

"Our car plants will be impacted almost immediately," Hargrove told a news conference about 2½ hours after the U.S. union's walkout began.

He said GM Canada's No. 1 car plant in Oshawa, east of Toronto, will stop producing Chevrolet Impala sedans at 3 a.m. EDT Tuesday, and the No. 2 Oshawa plant, assembling the Pontiac Grand Prix and Buick Allure, will shut down at the end of Tuesday's day shift.

The Oshawa truck plant, he said, has enough parts to keep building Silverado and Sierra pickups for about three days.

The assembly plants are affected by shortages of parts delivered on a just-in-time basis.

Meanwhile, the GM transmission factory in Windsor, Ont., has already closed and a small powertrain-component plant in St. Catharines, Ont., will also soon wind down because of lack of U.S. demand for their output.

Hargrove also estimated as many as 40,000 workers at independent parts producers could be laid off "within the next few days" if the GM strike continues for long. He said there are 80,000 workers in the Canadian parts sector and GM buys about half of their production, and other jobs could be affected at companies dealing with the parts makers.

Given the tough talk from UAW president Ron Gettelfinger, "I think this thing's going to drag on for a while," Hargrove said.

"I don't know how long at this point. That'll become more clear over the next few days."

He said the UAW bargainers put in an "incredible effort," but "General Motors appears to be saying to the UAW - and probably to us next year - that the troubles they're experiencing because of imports and the transplant production that doesn't make the same commitment in terms of investment and jobs in Canada and the U.S., that they're going to try to make the UAW members and their families and communities pay."

Hargrove said imports from Japan, Korea and Europe account for one-quarter of the North American auto markets, and another quarter is held by vehicles made in North America by foreign companies.

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... that they're going to try to make the UAW members and their families and communities pay.

Total BS!!! It is the union that has forced GM and others to pay their workers too much and it is the union's incompetence at recruiting employees of Foreign companies that has created the imbalance in the US.

GM, move all production offshore and then let the State governments beg you to build a plant to hire their constituents - this has worked well for all of the other transplants and it can work for you too.

F$%@ the union.

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with the dollar going up, Buzz knows he's going to be in a tougher and tougher fight with GM because its getting less cost effective to make stuff here.

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Making cars in Canada has to be somewhat more efficient when you consider the Canadian government pays for health care. That's a $2500 advantage to building cars in Canada right there.

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