September 1, 2006

CAW proposes new labour agreement with Ford

Toronto, Ontario – The Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) is proposing a new labour agreement with Ford, in the hope of keeping the company’s St. Thomas, Ontario assembly plant open.

“As a union, we have to be much more aggressive now than we have been in the past,” says CAW president Buzz Hargrove. “We want to make sure companies know that Canada is a favourable climate and we want government strongly on side.”

At the beginning of the year, Ford announced it was slashing jobs at St. Thomas part of a larger cost-cutting plan; the company also said it was looking for a low-cost site in North America for a new assembly plant.

“We absolutely should make a bid for St. Thomas as the site for that new assembly plant,” Hargrove says. “We can offer a great package that is more innovative and high performance than others. St. Thomas needs support, and we need to do what we can to provide that support.”

The CAW proposal keeps the St. Thomas facility open, with some other contract vehicle producer, possibly Magna, building a plant nearby to produce cars for Ford. Hargrove says he wants to meet with Ford as soon as possible to present the proposal.

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