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CAW Collective Bargaining & Social Justice Convention
July 19, 2005 - 12:20pm EST

This past week the CAW held their annual Collective Bargaining Convention. This convention has traditionally been a precursor to the big three collective bargaining sessions. The convention was held at the Sheraton Centre in downtown Toronto. This year is the CAW’s 20th anniversary. Twenty years ago the CAW broke away from the UAW to form their own Union. The Union formally recognized that the CAW is more than just the automotive sector. President Buzz Hargrove mentioned this in his address to the delegates. Local 385 was represented by Local Union President, Tom Park and Delegate, Bob Munday.

Brother Hargrove addressed the delegates, giving them his vision of the direction the Union would take in the near future. Buzz also made it clear that the big three auto makers are still making money in Canada and the CAW would not entertain any suggestions of concessions. The National Union also urged all members to buy automobiles that are made by our members. It was pointed out that the Japanese and Korean car manufacturers take much more money out of our economy than they generate for the economy. They provide no jobs and take profits out of the country. Furthermore, working conditions are poorer for workers at non-union foreign owned auto plants. There was a strong focus on the issue of pensions at this convention. The auto retirees are looking for parity with current pensions. There was also a strong consensus that there must be an improvement to today’s pension laws. It was unanimously agreed that workers’ pensions must be the first secured creditor in any closure. It was also agreed that employers cannot be continued to be allowed to take a vacation from meeting their pension obligations, otherwise there will be more situations like Stelco Steel of Hamilton.

There was a little bit of controversy when a Toronto Star editor claimed that Buzz was not in touch with the delegates or members. He intimated that the delegates were not listening to our President. Brother Hargrove addressed this statement in his closing remarks. The delegates gave Buzz a rousing show of support which surely would have embarrassed the Toronto Star reporter had he been there. Brother Hargrove assured the delegates that there would be a strong response to the article in the coming week. The convention concluded on Thursday, July 14th, 2005.

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Last Updated: July 19, 2005 12:24:25 PM