Buzz Hargrove isn't mincing words about his opinion of Chrysler LLC's strategy. Calling the decision to send the Magnum and Pacifica models out to pasture and cut shifts and jobs at the Brampton, Ontario plant "stupid," Hargrove has said the Canadian Auto Workers aren't interested in the type of concessions the UAW recently agreed to. While the UAW is allowing new hires to be given a lower pay level, as well as taking on a health care trust fund, the CAW will be having none of that, according to Hargrove.
Cuts were expected, but Chrysler's recent scaling back is more than necessary, according to Hargrove, who counters that what the company's really trying to do is reduce supply in order to drive up demand and keep prices higher. It sounds like a good way to make the automaker profitable, thinning the lineup and trimming overproduction. The problem, according to The Buzz, is that Chrysler's plan is anathema to the long union tradition of providing jobs that pay well enough to allow a solid middle class life for autoworkers. With the pay cuts, Hargrove says that autoworkers will no longer be able to afford to buy the cars they build. The recent fall of the dollar isn't helping matters, and will likely give Chrysler another point to argue when asking for concessions. The Canadian Auto Workers will begin duking it out with Detroit in July, so expect the rhetoric to become even more heated in the months to come.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]

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