CAW to lose 1,000 jobs at DaimlerChrysler in Ontario

Last Updated Tue, 20 Sep 2005 16:17:46 EDT
CBC News
The Canadian Auto Workers union said Tuesday its new three-year deal will mean 1,000 fewer union jobs at DaimlerChrysler’s Ontario plants. The CAW and DaimlerChrysler reached a tentative agreement overnight – within a day of a strike deadline.

RELATED: CAW, DaimlerChrysler tentative agreement

Shift schedule changes in Windsor, where DaimlerChrysler makes the Caravan and Pacifica, will see non-stop production. There had been breaks of 20 to 30 minutes when workers swapped shifts.

The union said it doesn’t believe transferring assembly work to outside companies should be considered outsourcing, because no current employees would lose their jobs due to outside contracts.

CAW president Buzz Hargrove said the union realizes the auto industry is changing and the Big Three need to trim costs to compete with increased competition from other companies such as Toyota, Honda and Nissan.

But Hargrove said Tuesday that the union only accepted productivity changes if it meant there would be no involuntary layoffs. He said: “We’re not afraid of change, we embrace change. But not at the expense of our members and their families and their communities.”

DaimlerChrysler workers will vote on the agreement this weekend.

Impact on Windsor, Ont.

Windsor will face further reductions in Big Three employment.

The city will lose most of the 1,100 jobs to be eliminated by Ford over the next three years and the DaimlerChrysler cuts will likely involve roughly 600 jobs in Windsor.

DaimlerChrysler has agreed to a $575 million investment in Windsor to build the next-generation minivan, but that deal relies on federal and provincial funding that has yet to be secured.
GM next

The CAW set a strike deadline of midnight, Sept. 27, for its 17,000 General Motors workers in Oshawa, St. Catharines and Windsor if an agreement is not reached.

GM has said it’s not happy with the pension improvements CAW reached with Ford and DaimlerChrysler because it has more than twice as many retirees.

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