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It's amazing how quickly one's view of things can shift when facing an uncertain future. Such is the case for members of the Canadian Auto Workers union at the Chrysler Group's Brampton, Ontario plant. The union there has "overwhelmingly" voted to accept pay cuts and the outsourcing of some janitorial jobs not one month after rejecting the concessions put forward by Chrysler. The pay cuts in question are actually "premium pay" that was negotiated by the unions during better times. It amounts to an extra 40 minutes of pay per day for time spent not working, and annually costs Chrysler about $5,000 per hourly employee. That fact that such a perk was ever negotiated in the first place doesn't say much about Chrysler's bargaining skills.

The union at the Brampton plant is hoping these concessions will not only keep its doors open but also spur Chrysler to invest in the plant, expanding it to produce up to five models instead of its current capacity of three. Those current models include variants of the LX platform – the Chrysler 300, Dodge Magnum and Charger. We're already pretty certain the Brampton plant will get the $700 million investment it's hoping for, since Chrysler has already announced it will be the site for production of the new Dodge Challenger.

[Source: Freep]


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  • 15 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Big rocket you say
      "If foreign unions mess up foreign companies, I don't care. As an American, I only care when unions mess up American companies. And by charging for work they didn't perform, the CAW had financially handicapped American competitivenss in a global market for many years. That is why I exercise my right to criticize them."
      The CAW is a Canadian Union for Canadian workers. It has no ties to the UAW,and really has no impact to what happens in the U.S. Like I said earlier if you think the extra pay the workers recived influence the price of cars, we should now see the MSRP's come down. And for it hampers American competitiveness the company we're talking about is a German company and not an American company no matter how you look at it.The issue at hand was at one plant in a foreign country not corporate wide. The issue that unions threaten to strike if they don't get their way is a joke, if that were the case thre would be a hell of a lot more strikes in the world. Now the company threatens to move product and close plants if the workers don't take consessions. They make Canada compete for platforms against the U.S. and vise versa. Who ever gives up more, stays open. Just to let you know I don't belive two wrongs make a right. I'm not pro-union, and I also don't belive that corporate America has the best interest of the worker at heart.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I see your point about the 48 minutes, big rocket but you seem to have missed the consesions they had already made. Also, the CAW had done more then that in the eighties when the federal government had gave Chrysler a huge low interest loan as well. Chrysler repaid the loan but never did reward the CAW afterwards. Instead the Internal conglomerate bought out AMC from Renult instead.

      You are so anti-union that you can't see both sides of the coin. Auto manufactures make huge profits and that's okay with you but you quibble about unions demanding big pay & job security. I am an owner/operator and have to crawl just to get enough revenue to cover my expenses. Few companies gives raises if they aren't under pressure to do so. That cuts into profit. Personaly I couldn't work in an assembly line unless it did pay well.
      • 7 Years Ago

      How about a link, something to prove your point?
      • 7 Years Ago
      paid NOT to work? And I have to pay for this if I buy a DCX car? So $5000/employee additionally to stand around? GM union is the largest buyer of Viagra in the world and $2K/car going to retiree health care...

      Let me ponder why foreign automakers are doing better...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Big Rocket you realy don't know what you are talking about. The Healthcare (Medicare) is for every Canadian and we all pay minimal premiums. It don't matter for whom you work. The pay was infact for reduced break time and it don't matter who reports it. Read Canadian news about Canada before spurting out things about Canada of which you know nothing about. That's what is called ignorance.
      • 7 Years Ago
      #19 (AdRock): "The CAW... has no ties to the UAW,and really has no impact to what happens in the U.S."

      I disagree. The CAW and the UAW both leech financial resources from American companies. Including Chrysler. This loss of financial resources deprive American companies of funds needed to research and develop competitive products in a global market. When these companies cannot compete, it harms the US economy. In summary, unions harm America.

      For that matter, unions harm Canada also. When American companies cannot compete, they don't shut down plants only in the US. They shut down plants in Canada also. The shortsighted greed of the CAW only serves to enrich the current generation of plant workers, at the expense of a loss of employment opportunities for future generations in Canada.

      #19 (AdRock): "the company we're talking about is a German company and not an American company no matter how you look at it."

      Not so fast there, let's check the facts first. Before Chrysler was acquired by Daimler in 1998, it acquired the Brampton factory in 1987. The CAW had over a decade to screw with Chrysler, an American company. Prior to that, it had another year to screw with AMC, another American company. Twelve years of sapping American competitiveness is not enough?

      One other thing: Almost everyone here at Autoblog refer to GM, Ford, and DCX as the Big 3, or the Big 2.5. Very few people refer to it as the Big 2. So while you might see DaimlerChrysler as a German company, most of us here at Autoblog would argue DCX is at least part American. And as I mentioned before, I don't take kindly to unions messing with American companies. Even if they are only part American.

      Source:
      http://www.daimlerchrysler.ca/CA/03/EN/CORPORATE/1,,CA-03-EN-CORPORATE-DCC-MANUFACTURING-BRAMPTON,.html
      http://money.cnn.com/1998/09/18/deals/daimler/

      #19 (AdRock): "Like I said earlier if you think the extra pay the workers recived influence the price of cars, we should now see the MSRP's come down."
      Either that, or the MSRP would remain the same, while content, quality, reliability, market share, etc. goes up.

      I know what you are thinking: The Big 3's MSRP did not substantially increase while the unions were in their heyday. True. But everything else went down, which allowed the foreign companies to take market share away from the Big 3. That's why I continue to assert: Parasitic unions are bad for American companies, they are bad for American competitiveness, and they are bad for America.

      #19 (AdRock): "The issue at hand was at one plant in a foreign country not corporate wide."

      One union local stealing from DCX isn't enough? You want more? Besides, if you see one cockroach in a house, chances are, there are lots more cockroaches around.

      #19 (AdRock): "The issue that unions threaten to strike if they don't get their way is a joke, if that were the case thre would be a hell of a lot more strikes in the world."

      Living in Canada is not the same as living under a rock. So, let me remind you, there *were* a hell of a lot more strikes back in the past. The only reason the unions are backing off nowadays, is because they cannot squeeze blood out of a rock. Not after they had sucked almost all the lifeblood out of the Big 2.5.

      #19 (AdRock): "They make Canada compete for platforms against the U.S. and vise versa. Who ever gives up more, stays open. Just to let you know I don't belive two wrongs make a right."

      You claim it is wrong for DCX to make the CAW compete with the UAW for jobs. I disagree. It is well within DCX's right, to right the wrongs of legacy union greed.

      #19 (AdRock): "I also don't belive that corporate America has the best interest of the worker at heart."

      That is no excuse for the worker to charge for imaginary work not being performed, which is the core issue here. Didn't you say two wrongs don't make a right?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I see you are ignorant in your opinions. The premium is for when the company increased the length of shifts and reduced the time of breaks and reliefs,the union has never been on strike at DCX Brampton and the car is built in Canada where there is universal healthcare so there is no added cost in the vehicles.
      • 7 Years Ago
      #4 (AdRock): "The premium is for when the company increased the length of shifts and reduced the time of breaks and reliefs..."

      Not according to Autoblog, and not according to the Detroit Free Press, either. Autoblog wrote, "[The] 'premium pay'... that was negotiated by the unions... amounts to an extra 40 minutes of pay per day for time spent not working..." If you are going to contradict the reports on Autoblog and the Detroit Free Press, the least you can do is back up your statements with proof.

      #4 (AdRock): "the union has never been on strike at DCX Brampton... in Canada..."

      And why is that? Because the threat of a prolonged strike, which could have cost around half a *billion* dollars, was enough for an automaker to cave in to any union demands. To paraphrase, the robber was able to steal money just by pointing his handgun at a victim, without firing a single shot. It doesn't make the robber, or the CAW, any less guilty of robbery.

      #4 (AdRock): "the car is built in Canada where there is universal healthcare so there is no added cost in the vehicles."

      Healthcare is just one of many ways in which unions extort money from the automakers. Another way is to charge money for *not* working. Such as what the CAW had done, to the tune of "an extra 40 minutes of pay per day for time spent not working", or "about $5,000 per hourly employee". You don't think that adds cost to vehicles built at DCX Brampton? Then perhaps you are not qualified to accuse others of ignorance.
      mike saylor
      • 7 Years Ago
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      • 7 Years Ago
      Big Rocket, Do you hate all unions? Do you realize that all German Autoworkers are unionized as well? They also get paid 40 hours a week for only working 35. Their industry is doing fine. Why is that? They have workers receiving pensions. They are paid very well. The difference is that they are managed better and when they do have problems they are quick resolve issues. Do you get a paid lunch break? Because if you do you are stealing money away from your employer as well. Do you get paid for 8 hours work and only work 7? Get paid sick days? What about coffee breaks? Do you go on the internet? Look at personal E-mails? Are you bleeding your employer dry? I bet you don't think so. The corporate world is full of bigger theives than any union.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yes your right, all unions do is ruin companies. I assume you'd like it better if everyone in manufacturing were to be paid minimum wages. If you think that would make cars any cheaper, your pretty naive.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Autoblog: "It amounts to an extra 40 minutes of pay per day for time spent not working, and annually costs Chrysler about $5,000 per hourly employee. That fact that such a perk was ever negotiated in the first place doesn't say much about Chrysler's bargaining skills."

      Not much can be negotiated with a robber pointing a handgun at you. Or with a parasitic union that uses strikes as blackmail, costing hundreds of millions of dollars for a typical month-long strike.

      Source:
      http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A07E4DD1638F937A25756C0A961958260
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