Tag: CAW

  • Bob White, Union Organizer, Union Leader

    April 28, 1935 – February 19, 2017 When I last visited Bob at his nursing home in Kincardine, a nurse politely pulled me aside to tell me that he no longer talked much but remained quite sociable. The deterioration in his condition was sad to hear, but I remarked that his retention of social skills was … Keep reading »

  • Subsidies and Concessions: The Never-Ending Corporate Shake-Down

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s first economic policy initiative of 2013, which took him to Oakville in early January to trumpet yet another $250-million in auto subsidies, ought to raise some very fundamental questions. The heady free market rhetoric of recent decades was often cast in terms of the economic benefits associated with multinational corporations escaping … Keep reading »

  • The CAW-CEP Merger: New Union in a Difficult World

    Just about everyone in and around the union movement in Canada is talking about the upcoming merger between the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers (CEP). The new union being formed will be the largest private sector union in Canada. While bigger is not necessarily better – as numerous other examples … Keep reading »

  • Ford Canada Concessions: Could it Signal the End of an Era?

    While the CAW and Ford enter into another round of concessions bargaining – in the wake of concessions in the UAW – there is an argument to be made that the time for trading concessions for promises of investment and jobs should be ending. These two pieces argue for such an outcome. The first, by … Keep reading »

  • Against Concessions: CAW – UAW Rank and File Solidarity

    In the spring of 2008, the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union, opened contract talks early to negotiate a concessionary contract in order to give the Detroit Three auto makers (Chrysler, Ford and General Motors) a cost savings advantage they claimed they needed as the economy slid downwards, and also to avoid reopening the contract before … Keep reading »

  • The CAW and Panic Bargaining: Early Opening at the Big Three

    In the face of a deteriorating economic climate and concerns about the ‘investment competitiveness’ of Canadian plants, the CAW leadership made a startling move this spring. It had an air of panic about it: the leadership quietly asked the Big Three – GM, Ford and Chrysler – to open their collective agreements early, offering a … Keep reading »

  • Two-tier Wages, Second-Class Workers

    When Autoworker President Buzz Hargrove makes new pronouncements, they carry weight within and beyond the labour movement – even when, as has recently been the case, they seem to undermine what Canadian unions have always stood for. What then are we to make of Hargrove’s defiant declaration, in response to the permanent two-tier system negotiated … Keep reading »

  • Magna-CAW Framework of Fairness Agreement is an Affront to Union Democracy

    Geoff Bickerton Like most agreements between Unions and Employers the devil lies in the details. The Framework of Fairness Agreement between the CAW and Magna International is no exception. Much has already been said and written about this agreement. Unionists such as Sam Gindin, Gord Wilson and Sam Hammond have provided thoughtful critiques of the many … Keep reading »

  • The CAW and Magna: Disorganizing the Working Class

    “In the neoconservative Canada of the late 1990s, the labour movement needs to become more militant, less accommodating to the demands of corporations and governments. If this sounds like a return to the days of the 1930s or 1950s, so be it. It’s either that or watch decades of hard-won gains disappear. This resistance will … Keep reading »

  • One Sided Class War: The UAW-GM 2007 Negotiations

    In 1978, then United Auto Worker (UAW) President Douglas Fraser, frustrated with corporate America’s new aggressiveness, accused U.S. business of waging a ‘one-sided class war against working people, the unemployed, the poor, the minorities, the very young and the very old, and even many in the middle class of our society.’ In response, he warned, … Keep reading »

  • Rewriting History: The CAW Turn

    In response to criticism of the concessions made by the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) at General Motors’s Oshawa facility this winter, the union has made four counter-arguments. First, no concessions were in fact made: the union won jobs through ‘smart bargaining’. Second, contradicting the first point, that concessions may have been made, but trading off … Keep reading »

  • Concessions in Oshawa: The End of an Era?

    In the early 1980s General Motors workers in Canada refused to follow their American parent (UAW) in opening their collective agreement. The ensuing conflict eventually led to the Canadians breaking away to form their own Canadian union (CAW). Earlier this month the CAW leadership opened the collective agreement in Oshawa, threatening the end of a … Keep reading »