• Jun 11, 2008
Hold on to your britches folks. General Motors dealings with the Canadian Auto Workers union just took another turn for the worse. GM, like every other full-line automaker selling vehicles in the United States, has been unable to move as many pickup trucks as it had hoped since the price of gas has spiked. In response to the shifting tide of vehicle sales and to slow the huge financial hemorrhaging, GM announced about eight days ago that it would be closing four plants that build trucks and SUVs, including one in Oshawa, Ontario. Unfortunately, the General had recently promised to keep that particular plant open for a few more years, so the announcement more than irked the Union officials from up north.
Here's where things get real ugly. In retaliation, the CAW has blockaded the entrance to the GM headquarters in Canada for the last eight days. As you might imagine, GM has a slight problem with this and has taken the matter to court, where documents reveal that the automaker wants C$250,000 from the local union and five of its members for a total of $1.5 million in damages. We're not sure if this impending lawsuit will impact the Union's plans for a rally this Thursday in the parking lot of the Oshawa headquarters, but it's probably safe to say that this situation won't have a happy ending.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 21 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      "GM, like every other full-line automaker selling vehicles in the United States, has been unable to move as many pickup trucks as it had hoped since the price of gas has spiked...."

      Try it as you may, GM...assemble them or not, trucks ain't gonna sell. At this current economic climate...it ain't gonna happen.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Law breakers should pay. CAW is not an exception.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sorry, excuse my spelling errors.
      Yeah, good idea unions. Force the company to continue to hemorrhage money out of every orifice to keep you employed, ultimately hurting the company in the long run and possibly setting everyone else in the union up for job loss. Auto Unions are outdated in their current form and just another form of organized crime that hurts the US and Canadian economy... but that's just my opinion.
      Live Better
      Work Harder
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think its unfair to characterize all Unions in this way. For example, I think you are all spot on when considering teachers Unions, DMV & State workers, etc. Seriously, an air conditioned office isn't exactly a "dangerous workplace" However, I do believe that people who work in the agricultural industry, mining workers and workers in places like slaughterhouses definately deserve any Union help. Strangely enough, these are the people who don't get any help to improve their working conditions.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Not just auto unions, unions period.
      Frank
      • 6 Years Ago
      GM should shut another CAW plant or two. The CAW pact is more expensive to GM than that with the UAW. Also the Canadian dollar no longer offers an advantage. Where does CAW get the sense of entitlement. Buzz Hargrove is living in the 1960's, and he is killing the CAW.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Frank
        Flint North (Buick City) was GM's highest quality plant, but that didn't stop them from gutting the city ten years ago.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Frank
        Oshawa is GM's highest-quality plant.

        Oshawa has been awareded North America's highest-quality plant for any automaker more than once.

        Oshawa has been awarded the #3 spot for plant quality in the world.

        That's why this is particularly galling.

      • 6 Years Ago
      "it's probably safe to say that this situation won't have a happy ending."

      I wouldn't necessarily say that; if GM wins the lawsuit and is awarded the $1.5m, I'd call that a very happy ending indeed.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yeah, good idea unions. Force the company to continue to hemorage money out of every orifice to keep you employeed, ultimatly hurting the company in the long run and possibly setting everyone else in the union up for job loss. Auto Unions are outdated in their current form and just another form of organized crime that hurts the US and Canadian economy... but that's just my opinion.
      Live Better
      Work Harder
      • 6 Years Ago
      I am totally on GM's side. I hope they successfully sue the Union and end the blockade.

      I mean, seriously, do these autoworkers know what reality is? The reality is, SUV and truck sales are tanking, No amount of incentives will get people to buy them. They have lost their value. NO ONE WANTS THEM.

      No one wants to loose their job. But current market conditions have forced GM into closing plants that produce SUV's and trucks. People want fuel efficient cars now, not tanks.

      The Autoworkers are clearly not thinking correctly. They expect GM to keep plants open, and continue to produce a product that will just sit and rot in dealerships, JUST to keep employed. This will ONLY lead to GM losing even *more* money. The company might even have to fold if they didn't change with market conditions.

      The auto workers are totally in the wrong, and they expect GM to make vehicles that won't be purchased.

      I'm glad GM is sueing the union. I hope they win and hire some more workers who are not as brainless.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "I'm glad GM is sueing the union. I hope they win and hire some more workers who are not as brainless."

        Yes, they are going to hire some more workers after laying of 2600. Do you have any brains at all? From the amount of typos in your post, the answer is obvious. I'm not a GM worker, but you can't tell me that these people deserve to lose thier jobs because, "Trucks are not selling". They will still be built in the US and Mexico. Also they are already talking about re-tooling the plant to build something else. Ford is doing it in thier truck plants. And I know it's such a shame to pay people a decent wage to work hard and build a quality product. Just to let you know non union autoworkers make nearly the same wage as union autoworkers,(unless you count chinese slave labour) so you can't blame the workers for GM being broke. How about the CEO who's pocketing 15 million dollars a year? He has no responsibilty? How about the bargining commitee, couldn't have they worked this out earlier with the CAW? It was a stab in the back to 2600 plus families, and GM just wants some money back that they will have to pay to the Ontario government.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I hope all the trucks made are safe and no monkey business with the products.
      The CAW are professional people and I dont think this will happen. But who knows maybe a young punk building an engine drops a bolt or a nut into the crankcase out of anger.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ya but they know it would just make things worse. With a awards of top quality at the Oshawa plant, it just looks good to keep it up.
      • 6 Years Ago
      about time the general fought back.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm glad also to see GM finally fighting back. Its about to for them to show the unions who's boss.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Thank the gods GM is taking legal action against the CAW for their illegal blockade.
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