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CAW Convoy


StoneMtn
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So, GM is closing a plant in Oshawa that makes pick-ups, because we are entering into an energy crisis, due to lack of oil, which is causing gas-prices to soar, so people don't want pick-ups anymore.

In response, in order to protest this labour-dispute, the CAW Union has organized a convoy today; driving hundreds of trucks around - ultimately arriving nowhere.

Does this strike anyone else as ironic? Could they not think of a single, less oil-wasting mode of protest?

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GM will throw 2600 people out of work who had a signed contract. The plant won't use electricity, the workers won't be able to afford the trucks they built, and ultimately they won't buy as much gas for them or any other vehicles they might own.

I think their tactics today (~300 cars trucks and motorcycles driving for 3 hours) pales in comparison to the actions of GM management. Good for the union to fight for their jobs.

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Does this strike anyone else as ironic? Could they not think of a single, less oil-wasting mode of protest?

For the past 3 days union members were blockading the administrative building allowing no cars in. Over 1000 people were working from home. Saved a lot of oil and energy right there.

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I'm not at all unsympathetic to the position CAW is in over this - due to poor forward planning by GM management. I've also worked onsite at the Oshawa GM plant, feel a kinship with the workers, and grew up right next door to Oshawa and know how heavily this is going to hit the city and the area. But the optics of today's demonstrations are still very poorly conceived, given the reason for the closures.

(It's no secret that I have some personal animosity towards Hargrove, either, so there's that, too, I guess)

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GM will throw 2600 people out of work who had a signed contract. The plant won't use electricity, the workers won't be able to afford the trucks they built, and ultimately they won't buy as much gas for them or any other vehicles they might own.

I think their tactics today (~300 cars trucks and motorcycles driving for 3 hours) pales in comparison to the actions of GM management. Good for the union to fight for their jobs.

agree. this is a case of management failing to see the obvious writing on the wall and running the company into the ground. then they royally screw their employees, immediately after sucking them into a fraudulent contract. there should be a criminal investigation here.

the irony and inconvenience of the protest is miniscule compared to the travesty of management's actions. im surprised that the CAW hasnt already occupied GM head offices rather than just protesting outside. this has the potential of getting really big and really nasty really fast.

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It's easy to blame GM when more could have been done by the auto unions to pressure the automakers to make more efficient vehicles, securing their jobs and security.

Sure they killed the Electric Car...but the people that could have put the push on them failed to do so miserably.

Every interview I've heard with Hargrove has left a bad taste in my mouth. If I were in the union I'd have been damanding that guy show my BEST interests in mind and not just complain about unfair trade tactics when North American vehicles generally miss the mark. 35MPG isn't very good fuel economy and it's the number I see all the time advertising efficiency.

The CAW is nearsighted and if those workers weren't strong enough to fight for job security in a proactive, objective way then it's obvious to me that it's not my place to say 'told ya so' it's their families' and their communities' place to say it.

I think that with all the time they're gonna have that they should start flossing more regularly. Financial security is a major cause of heart attack and significantly shortens peoples' lives. Regular flossing is apparently good for your heart. It's a good start.

And that's a good start.

Although the manufacture of vehicles is entirely wasteful and taxing on the planet, efficient vehicles to sell on our own soil is entirely crucial as a first step to ween us off oil and to help our air quality.

But until we stop whining about events that we didn't do anything to prevent we'll continue to get fucked over as a society by those above us.

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The CAW is nearsighted and if those workers weren't strong enough to fight for job security in a proactive, objective way then it's obvious to me that it's not my place to say 'told ya so' it's their families' and their communities' place to say it.

They had a signed contract.

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Signed contracts don't guide the market or pressure their employers to take the steps to ensure that the contract isn't breakable.

That's hiding behind the law and using it unfairly and unjustly.

Say your buddy got married...and with that signed contract presumed she'd be there through thick and thin and stopped changing and evolving with the relationship and current economic times.

So she finds a reason to divorce him instead of finding new ways for you to make it work because he didn't make the effort to be entirely needed in her life.

Would all of his friends park in front of her driveway to keep her from going to her job cause she's a bitch, or would he suck it up and stand up for himself more in the future?

Logic can only go so far. then lawyers step in and impose clever legalese to justify whatever they want.

The CAW's contract probably wasn't as detailed as it could have been and mustn't have allowed for a huge change in the economic and political landscape.

saying 'they can't do this' is a pretty pussy thing to do when they obviously did do that.

Unions are great in theory but events like this prove that they're not effective in preventing horrible things to happen.

The dues our workers pay should go to salaries of officials and executives that can actually ensure that they can uphold job security instead of seeking retribution for sour deals.

waaaah.

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It's easy to blame GM when more could have been done by the auto unions to pressure the automakers to make more efficient vehicles, securing their jobs and security.

Possibly they could have done more, but CAW has been pressuring the industry to move in the direction for some time, to avoid exactly this sort of situation. GM was happy to just keep on pumping out the trucks instead.

That's hiding behind the law and using it unfairly and unjustly.

This sounds like crazy talk to me. Attempting to enforce a binding contract is hiding behind the law? It is using the law as it was meant to be used. Whether the contractual agreement actually passes muster in the end, I guess will be found out in arbitration.

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Of course they should fight but distractionary tactics aren't fighting and really do quite a bit to remove faith in unions.

Labour unions are important, but I haven't seen positive action on their behalf to get consumers demanding change and bringing any work they've done to light.

We'll have to see how it all pans out in the end. It shouldn't have to be up to the CAW to push for mass transit, electric and other green vehicles, bicicle infrastructure, and more focus on supporting local economies...but with such a large worker population in this and other affiliates the breadth of major labour unions could realistically be greater.

Unions should be more than insurance. They should leave their workers and the communites in which they live assured that there's support from all angles. Perhaps that's what government's role ultimitely is, but it's obvious that we need more effort and support from more directions and perspectives.

All I can do is say 'waah' about it and give an opinion where it's really not going to accomplish much than circumventing the issue at hand since the issue at hand is ridiculous and shouldn't be happening anyway.

Greed on the part of GM

Myopia on the part of the unions and GM

ignorance on the part of consumers for far too long

disease on the part of the government for not having the best interests of its people at hand over partisan politics...mass transit, green technologies, and domestic industry as a whole have been left behind to foster international trade and a global economy.

It's left us energy-rich and banker-rich.

With all of these out of work factory employees, Canada has an ample workforce to produce wind turbines, hydroelectric power generation, and electric vehicle production. I'd hate for them all to wind up working at call centres when we could have a great legacy to leave for our children and their children.

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A challenging situation all around. Many great points throughout this thread. The one below stuck out to me the most, as these plant closures are only the beginning of the consequences that will be felt within a time of such widespread change.

Unions should be more than insurance. They should leave their workers and the communites in which they live assured that there's support from all angles. Perhaps that's what government's role ultimitely is, but it's obvious that we need more effort and support from more directions and perspectives.

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  • 2 weeks later...
DEARBORN, Mich. — The Ford Motor Company said on Friday that it would delay introducing its new pickup truck and that it will probably lose money for a fourth consecutive year in 2009 because of the slowdown in demand for large vehicles.

Unsold 2008 F-150 pickup trucks at a Ford dealership in Centennial, Colo., last April. Ford will delay introduction of its new F-150 model because of the declining market for pickups.

Ford said it would begin selling the highly anticipated 2009 version of the F-150 pickup in late fall, two months later than intended, so that dealers would have more time to clear out the current model. In addition to the delay, the company said it would build 90,000 fewer trucks in the second half of the year than it had previously planned, while increasing production of cars and crossovers that are more fuel-efficient.

This alongside Chrysler's suppliers complaining that Chrysler is no longer able to afford its bills and threatening to cut off distribution.

Anyone out there working for the majors? I'd be getting a little bit scared, right now.

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