How would you respond to the headline "No More Auto Workers Union"? Our northern neighbors will likely be bidding goodbye to their Canadian Auto Workers Union, as the membership has agreed to merge with the country's Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union.
Honda of Canada Manufacturing in Alliston, Ontario, is unique in providing an employee recreation center with an NHL regulation-size hockey arena. But it could soon have another claim to notoriety: The first Japanese auto plant to go union.
Shortly after General Motors announced it would eliminate an assembly line at Oshawa, thereby eliminating 2,000 jobs, the Canadian Auto Workers union got on the phone to set up meetings with ministers from the three major political parties in Canada. The CAW didn't just want to jawbone and complain, either – it entered the meetings with a slate of breathtakingly ambitious initiatives that would comprise a national auto policy.
After two weeks of intense negotiations, General Motors Canada and the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union have reached a deal that will help the automaker cut costs, allowing it to meet the terms for additional government loans. Ken Lewenza, head of the CAW, said it was "a struggle" to reach a deal with GM, but he added that the union had done the best it could under the circumstances, saying: "we have protected most of our core benefits."
After yesterday's Chrysler news regarding the first-lien holders and the U.S. Treasury coming to terms, we hope none of you thought the Pentastar had gotten off the see-saw. The latest tidbit comes from Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, but it comes via CAW head Ken Lewenza. According to Lewenza, Marchionne said that with two days left before Chrysler's got to show viability or go under, that "regardless of all the bondholders and stakeholders coming to the pump," if Marchionne had to put his money on
The top dogs at Chrysler sent a letter to the Canadian Auto Workers union that essentially said that the automaker needed wage concessions of $19 per hour, or else it was Game Over. As a further way to apply pressure, Chrysler's letter frequently referenced the U.S. and Canadian governments as heavies, all of them now waiting for the CAW to provide the necessary "support."