Canadian Auto Workers president Buzz Hargrove responds to strike

At 1:30PM today, Canadian Auto Workers (the Canadian counterpart to the UAW) president Buzz Hargrove gave a press conference responding to the UAW strike today against General Motors. In Hargrove's mind, a worst case scenario could see anywhere between 80,000 and 100,000 Canadian workers unemployed as a result of the strike. Hargrove seemed to blame General Motors for shifting the hardships caused by what he called "unfair imports" onto its workers, and he surmised the automaker will use the same strategy when it begins talks with the CAW to renegotiate its contracts next year.
As for the near term effect of the strike, Hargrove said the impact on Canadian plants will be immediate. GM Canada's No. 1 plant in Oshawa will stop making the Chevy Impala at 3AM EST Tuesday. The No. 2 Oshawa plant will stop making the Pontiac Grand Prix and Buick Allure (LaCrosse) at the end of the business day on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the highly profitable Oshawa truck plant that makes the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra has enough inventory to last about three days. Unfortunately, the GM Transmission plant in Windsor has already shut down, and another powertrain component plant in St. Catherine's, Ontario will stop altogether shortly, as well.

As for whether or not the strike is a "token strike" or will have the legs to last a significant amount of time, Hargrove said, "I think this thing's going to drag on for a while."

[Source: Canadian Press]

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