Friday, January 25, 2008

Move over Caledonia

Here comes the CAW.

Hey - If it works for the natives, why not? Maybe Dalton could pay off the creditors and let the protesters stay there.

Fantino can send over a few officers to 'keep the peace'.

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Related: At Home in Hespeler - Inflexible Unionism.

Saturday Update: Ledco workers occupy plant:

...CAW officials met yesterday morning with officials from Deloitte & Touche, the accounting firm appointed as bankruptcy trustee in the case, and allowed them into the plant in the afternoon to conduct an inventory of remaining assets.

The union has also talked to customers of Ledco with orders waiting to be shipped from the plant, Dias said.

He said the union had a frank discussion with Deloitte officials. They pointed out that the union is occupying the plant illegally, he said.

"The only thing that's illegal is that people with as much seniority as employees at Ledco are not getting severances. That's the only crime."

570 News - Ledco talks come to a halt.

Southwestern Ontario CTV - CAW: "We're not going anywhere".

Sunday Update: Ledco clients could soon get their products - 570 News.

Record - Workers end occupation of Ledco:

Ledco workers gave up their occupation of the auto-parts plant in Kitchener at 2:30 p.m. today after a receiver won a court order. But the workers, who want severance from the bankrupt company, say they’ll keep fighting...


Steve Sorge said...

Occupying a business that went bankrupt?

I'm not so sure that their timing is quite right. I also think that this is the not most prudent and persuasive course of action for the former employees of Ledco.

They think that with-holding their labour and stopping production after production has been permanently stopped will achieve something? Weird.

I guess they have nothing better to do.

Go get 'em Buzz!

Steph said...

Wow, Buzz Hargrove has some nerve blaming this on the federal government! This is so clearly and obviously yet another example of how unions are contributing to the demise of manufacturing in Canada.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Steph, yeah the Federal government is a convenient scapegoat in the game of passing the buck and not accepting responsibility.

The union factor is the 'elephant in the room' that McGuinty doesn't want to discuss, because it would reflect badly on his pal Buzz, who advocated for Dalton in the last election.

paulsstuff said...

As I stated on a previous post, I have been a CAW member for 32 years. Hargrove used to do a good job, but has now become nothing more than an embarresment to union members. Hargrove needs to take his head out of McGuinty's ass long enough to realize its no longer 1962.

If he actually took the time to ask himself why Ontario is losing manufacturing jobs he might take a look at McGuinty. Companies want to make money, and taxes are looked as lost profits. Poor old Buzz seems to have overlooked the fact that The Conservatives under Harper have cut business taxes, allowed for expedited writeoffs of equipment, etc. There is also a fund companies such as the Big 3 can draw on when doing R&D and setting up new shops. Hargrove ignores this and demands governments cut a check directly to the automakers. As a Chrysler employee, I think the company should be making money by running a good business, not receiving taxpayer handouts. Buzz screams about how we can't compete with the imports, and thinks its because of the governments. DUH!

Here is a thought Buzz. Ontario manufacturing jobs are lost due to being uncompetetive. Mike Harris understood it, made changes, and manufacturing jobs were created, including the automotive sector. Under Mcguinty, property assessments have skyrocketed, hydro rates have risen, etc. So Buzz, lay blame where it is truly deserved. For the last 4 years McGuinty continually ran out the don't worry be happy line because Ontario was creating jobs even though the manufacturing sector was being battered. So Dalton and Buzz, is the master plan to make Ontario the telemarketing employee capital of the world?

As for the workers at Ledco, I feel for you, but pack up and go home with your dignity. You want to know why your jobs are lost? Countries like China and India, who pay next to nothing in wages, no enviromental standards, sub-par quality, the list goes on. And these are the countries Dion and McGuinty want to give a further manufacturing advantage to by agreeing to binding emissions targets for Canada while these countries allow theirs to skyrocket.

Maybe it's time for Buzz to unionize the ginseng manufacturers.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Maybe it's time for Buzz to unionize the ginseng manufacturers.


Good all-round rant, Paul. There are many complexities involved here, but to blame it all on Harper is quite ingenuous. The high Canadian dollar is something the government can do very little about.

Trying to stay competitive in other ways such as reducing costs could help, but the unions won't hear of it.

I'm not so sure it's the Ledco employees who are leading the occupation at the plant though. Likely it's the union leaders who don't want to lose face.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

s/b disingenuous.

Anonymous said...

paulstuff - I'd really like to hear your take on how the teacher unions have kind of morphed into something akin to the auto-sector unions.

Do you see a similarity in approach and the demands breaking the educational bank?

Seems to me that there's no way outsometimes.

paulsstuff said...

What the teachers unions in Ontario have basically done is exploit a Liberal party headed by McGuinty who makes decisions based on getting themselves re-elected, rather than make decisions that put the citizens of Ontario first.

The recent election where these unions took out expensive television and newspaper ads denouncing the PC party and praising the Liberal's. It's a case of you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.

We'll keep you in power, you show us the money.

Caveat said...

I note that the non-union employees, who were making less, agreed to the pay cut to help keep the company afloat.


Union wages and benefits are disproportionately high, even compared with the US - you don't have to go as far as the East, just south of the border.

This kind of inflexibility shows a lack of understanding of a changing marketplace. The ones who can stay lean and mean and build morale and loyalty in the workforce are the ones who stay in business these days. Innovation is where it's at.

Given the inevitably confrontational atmosphere between unions and employers, the 'us and them' attitude, it's difficult to stay in business.

But of course, unions are not about competition or loyalty to an employer.

One article mentioned that CAW employees from other cities showed up to help with the 'occupation'. Wonder if the heat's on in the building?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

One article mentioned that CAW employees from other cities showed up to help with the 'occupation'. Wonder if the heat's on in the building?

Good question.

To tell you the truth, I'm conflicted on this one. I feel sorry for the employees that have been there a long time and aren't getting severance.

On the other hand, to go about things illegally doesn't seem right either. The police have moved in and are recording events, but I suppose they don't want to provoke any violence.

maryT said...

How many union workers are losing their jobs, and how much money will CAW lose from union dues.
And, will Buzz be affected with a pay cut, loss of pay, or in any manner. I have never heard of any union boss taking any hits when they lead their members to strike.
How many jobs have been lost because of mismanagement by union bosses.
The big question is, how many people would not have jobs if not for their union. How many are still employed because they can't be fired, regardless of poor preformance etc.
I think lots of teachers and civil servants would be unemployed if competence counted

Anonymous said...

paulstuff - you didn't answer the quetion about the teacher unions that anon. asked. We get it that McGuinty pandered to them for their vote..and will continue to do so, however, I think anon. was asking about how the teacher unions, despite teachers saying that children aren't widgets, have taken on the characteristics of those who do work on the assembly lines.

Why do teachers need unions these days exactly..if the gov't bends over every time it's asked? By comparison the working conditions of teachers are very good compared to some line or manufacturing workers.

paulsstuff said...

Teachers no longer need to use the kids as widgets because they know McGuinty will concede whatever demands are made. The teachers need the unions to keep the status-quo. Governments pander to teacher unions to keep themselves elected.

In Ontario, the teachers unions rallied against Harris because he put the taxpayers and their kids ahead of his own need for votes. Forcing trustees to meet their budgets for example. If Eves had of kow-toed to the unions McGuinty would have received far-less votes.

As for why teachers need unions now, it's like the punk gang-bangers in Toronto. By themselves they are nothing. Strenght in numbers.

MaryT has raised an excellant point I overlooked before. The CAW, apart from representing workers, is also somewhat of a business. The CAW receives union dues based on workers wages, in our case it's 2 1/2 hours per month. If the CAW takes the same concessions as the UAW, that being current workers maintain their pay and any future hires receive about $16 hour, their incoming dues in the future will be drastically reduced. I for one would vote in favor if this concession, as would many at work. It would gaurantee future jobs and production in Canadian plants. Joanne, I'll drop you an e-mail on what we have been reportedly offered. I'd rather not post the info here till it is realeased to union members. Tell me why Hargrove would be against this, because I can't figure it out.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks for the email, Paul.

I have yet to hear of a union which actually works for the best interests of the members rather than that of the leaders.