Wednesday, June 04, 2008

"We Have the Power"...to Drive the Company into the Ground!

"We are going to fight this decision," Canadian Auto Workers president Buzz Hargrove declared at a news conference. "This decision is unfair, it's unjust, it's unwarranted, it's illegal, it violates our collective agreement, and we're going to do everything in our power - and we have power."


Oh yeah Buzz...you have power to drive the company into the ground. GM is closing four of its plants in North America, and specifically the one in Oshawa that builds pick up trucks (Silverados and Sierras). Now union activists have set up a blockade of the GM headquarters in Oshawa.

Someone tell me where all the union-lovers are when a company is making a move based on consumer demand (gas prices and environmentalism). Environmentalists scoffed when people drove around SUVs and Pick-up trucks. Even Jack Layton proposed putting a surcharge or tax on them a while back.

It is safe to assume that most environmentalists are left-leaning and that most people who like unions are left-leaning. So how to reconcile your party's beliefs when people think they are entitled to their jobs or have a right to be employed with company that can't compete with consumer demand of small and more fuel-efficient vehicles?

Update: Joanne points us to an article by Don Martin about the reality facing the auto sector.

6 Comments:

Blogger mike said...

Please get your facts right before you make these types of statements. The Oshawa truck plant was just starting to build the new Hybird trucks and was given the task of building the next generation of pick up trucks starting in 2011. What GM is doing is simply moving production of these Hybird vehicles from Canada to its Mexican operations. They will continue to build and supply the North America market but with lower paid employee's. If your happy about the loss of over 3000 jobs and the benefits they give back to their community's then i guess there is nothing i can say to change your way of thinking.

Wed Jun 04, 10:06:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Chris Spoke said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Wed Jun 04, 10:12:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Chris Spoke said...

Welcome to the real world Mike. If GM is indeed moving its operations to Mexico it's due to lower corporate taxes, lower labour costs or both.

You could thank Dalton McGuinty and Buzz Hargrove for the loss of 3000 jobs and the benefits tehy give back to their community.

Wed Jun 04, 10:12:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Spitfire said...

Mike,

Thank you for your comment. The facts are that GM is closing 4 plants in North America...one of them in Mexico!

I guess my "way of thinking" is more aligned with Chris who points out that there are lower corporate taxes (or how Jack Layton calls them "corporate tax giveaways") in other areas which is bankrupting the manufacturing sector in Canada.

Why should companies like GM "continue to build and supply the North America market" when the rest of the world's auto companies have faced the reality and innovated a lot faster. How many people in Europe drive a GM truck? How many people in Asia drive a GM sedan? Such lack of long-term vision and the high cost of production forced the closure of these sectors.

Is it the worker's fault? No. But the union protestors in Oshawa shouldn't be shaking their fingers at management, when they should be protesting Dalton McGuinty and Buzz Hargrove.

McGuinty policies lacked incentives for companies to innovate and the high cost of produce was a contributing factor.

Buzz's insistence on increased wages and paying people $25+ to do menial tasks isn't good business sense.

Mike, I am not "happy" that 3000+ people are losing their jobs. It is foolish to think that anyone would be "happy" with someone else who has lost their job. I am unhappy with my incompetent premier and a power-hungry union leader who doesn't understand basic economic principles and let it come to this point.

Wed Jun 04, 10:54:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Powell lucas said...

We can always get many of those jobs back if Canada institues policies that let the dollar drop back to 60 cents. Of course, that will hit every consumer in Canada but, what the hell, isn't that what we're supposed to do...subsidize Ontario's & Quebec's manufacturing industries.
As far as Jack Layton goes; tax reductions are corporate welfare but direct subsidies are not. Perhaps he can explain this type of rationale...I sure can't.

Wed Jun 04, 03:13:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Raphael Alexander said...

I don't see how the union can fight anything. The economy is deciding what will be bought and sold, and right now the fuel efficient vehicles are the next hot commodity. All it took was a fifty cent increase in the per litre price of gasoline, too!

Mon Jun 09, 08:54:00 PM EDT  

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