Home

Uniforum
Vol 3 No 25
Dec 18, 2015

_________

Partsline
December
2015
Edition

_________

UAW-FORD
Contract
Summary
Nov 2015

_________

Workers'
economist Jim
Stanford leaves
for Australia

__________

Local 584
Retirees
PCOLA
Rally Pics
Dec 2015

__________

Uniforum
Vol 3 No 24
Dec 3, 2015

_________

Ford-UAW
deal passes by
narrow margin

__________

Ford-UAW deal
richest of the
Big Three
automakers

_________

Uniforum
Vol 3 No 23
Nov 20, 2015

__________

UAW members
in Fairfax,
Lansing split
on GM contract

__________

Trans-Pacific
Partnership
deal bad for
auto sector,
Ford Canada
head says

Unifourm
Vol 3 No 22
Nov 5, 2015

Automotive
Policies of
the Big Three
Political Parties

____________

Uniforum
Vol 3 No 21
Oct 22, 2015

__________

Federal Election
Results
October 19, 2015

Fate of Canada's
auto industry unclear
as TPP eases Japanese
import costs

___________

UAW pledges
new approach
to members
for FCA deal

______________

Uniforum
Vol 3 No 19
Sept 26, 2015

_________

Uniforum
Vol 3 N0 20
Oct 8, 2015

_____________

THE ABCS
OF TPP

____________

UAW-FCA
Contract
Summary
Sept 2015

_________

Unifor Auto
Policy 2015

____________

Mulcair vows
to protect
Canadian
autoindustry
jobs in
TPP talks

_____________

UNIFORUM
Vol 3 No 18
Sept 11, 2015

_________

Elections Canada
office now open
seven a days week

_____________

Uniforum
Vol 3 No 17
Aug 28, 2015

__________

Uniforum
Aug 18, 2015
Vol 3 No 16

_________

Uniforum
Vol 3 No 15
July 30, 2015

_________

It's Time for Workers
to Demand the
Change They Want

___________

Uniforum
July 18, 2015
VOL 3 NO 14

__________

Local 584 Final
Election Candidates
for May 6, 2015
Elections

______________

Local 584
Nominations
Results
April 12, 2015

____________

Unifourm
Vol 1 No 2
July 3, 2015

__________

- Unifor -
8 Point Auto
Policy Plan

________

UNIFORUM
Vol 3 No 12
June 19, 2015

__________

LOCAL 584
Leadership
Swearing in
Ceremony
June 14, 2015

____________

Golf Tournament
Photographs
June 13, 2015
Unifor Local 584

____________

Retirees Spring
Luncheon Photos
June 3, 2015

________

Unifor Forum
VOL 3 NO 11
June 5, 2015

_________

Uniforum
Vol 3 No 10
May 22, 2015

__________

Uniforum
Vol 3 No 9
May 8, 2015

_________

Election Results
May 6, 2015
Plant Elections

___________

2015
FORD
FIRST
QUARTER
FINANCIAL
RESULTS

____________

Jerry Dias says Canada
needs to step up its
game on auto assembly

Watch Video
_____________

UNIFOURM
Vol 3 No 1
Apr 24, 2015

__________

GTAA
DEMONSTRATION
WEDNESDAY
APRIL 8, 2015

__________

UNIFORUM
Apr 10, 2015
Vol 3 No 7

________

GM pushing Unifor
to ditch defined benefit
compensation packages

_________

Congratulations
to our newest
Retiree Chris Blair
April 1, 2015

____________

Ford CEO Mark Fields
earned $18.6 million
in 2014

__________

UNIFORUM
VOL 3, NO. 6
March 26, 2015

_________

Retiree
Helmut Schurtz
Passes Away
Mar 24, 2015

____________

Ford begins Edge
production, hires
400 New Workers

________

Uniforum
Vol 3 No 5
March 12, 2015

__________

Ministry of Labour
OPSEU Rally
Sat March 28, 2015

___________

Easter Seals Telethon
Sun April 12, 2015
Information

____________

Anti-Poverty Assembly
April 17 & 18, 2015
OISE Building
University of Toronto

___________

Uniforum
Vol 3 N0 4
March 1, 2015

________

Made in Mexico:
An emerging
auto giant powers
past Canada

________

Uniforum
Feb 12, 2015
Vol 3 No 3

_________

Uniforum
Vol 3 No 2
Jan 30, 2015

________

Unifor Submission
By Jerry Dias
On the Ontario
Retirement
Pension Plan
Jan 27, 2015

____________

Update on Ford
Windsor Job
Petition Jan 27/15

__________

Uniforum
Vol 3 No 1
Jan 15, 2015

____________

Government
Benefits 2015

___________

Retiree Bill
Ingles Passes
away January
31, 2015


2015

Workers' economist Jim
Stanford leaves for Australia

Labour economist Jim Stanford reflects on a two-decade career at the CAW, and now Unifor, amid growing income disparity.

Toronto Star
Vanessa Lu Business
Dec 08 2015

Jim Stanford is one of Canada's best-known economists, but he doesn't sit in a glitzy bank tower.

Instead, he's been the voice for organized labour for two decades, analyzing auto contracts to global trade deals, crunching the numbers, but explaining arcane economic terms in plain language.

"Most people are intimidated by economics. People are turned off by the jargon and the numbers," said Stanford, 54, who is quitting his position as economist for Unifor.

He and his family including two teenage children are moving to Australia where his partner Donna Baines, a former McMaster University professor, has become chair of the social work department at the University of Sydney.

"It's a two-career family. It's very hard to balance," Stanford said. "But it's also an abundance of riches. Lots of families struggle to have one income. We're very lucky."

And that's part of Stanford's constant concern – about the widening income disparity in Canada, as he looks back on a career that began in 1994.

Newly armed with a Ph.D., from the New School in New York, after studying at Cambridge University and the University of Calgary (where Stephen Harper had an office just down the hall), Stanford was looking for an academic post.

But those were hard to come by, so Stanford, who had previously done some union work for CUPE, became the first economist for the Canadian Auto Workers union, hired by then-president Buzz Hargrove.

"There were always bank economists and chamber of commerce economists," Stanford said. "Now you could have somebody speaking from the workers' perspective."

The union was expanding, going beyond its auto roots, so it needed a better understanding of different sectors.

The union, now known as Unifor, the result of a merger with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union in 2013, represents workers in 20 sectors.

It's even trying to work with those who can't organize such as freelance writers and ministers and employees of the United Church of Canada.

The changing world of work is a growing worry, where precarious work is becoming more common, with people in contract jobs, with part-time work, without predictable hours.

"It's a huge change. By and large, we don't represent them, but an injury to one is an injury to all," he said.

That means lobbying for changes from raising the minimum wage to legislative changes to protect workers.

Stanford, who hasn't firmed up work plans yet in Australia, will teach graduate economic policy courses for McMaster University part-time, occasionally in person and from afar.

As well, he will stay on as a special adviser to Unifor president Jerry Dias, to remain "part of the family," and offer advice during the next year's auto talks with Chrysler, Ford and GM.

"Our main goal will be to get extra commitments for new investment at all three companies," Stanford said.

But given that the contracts negotiated by the United Auto Workers had a tough time winning ratification in the United States, it will be challenging here too.

"I think there was general resentment among UAW members, and a potential problem of expectations. The industry is making money and 'we should be back to the good old days,' " Stanford said.

But those days are gone, he said.

The industry is poised for some better times – and the industry has wealth that it can share with the workers, but fewer people today are driving cars made by the Big Three, he said.

"There's economic space to make some incremental gains, but we're not going to snap our fingers and we're back to 1999," he said. "That was the richest agreement."

The irony is that Stanford is heading down under just as Australia's auto industry is winding down. Ford is set to pull out next year as is Toyota and Holden, a division of General Motors is leaving in 2017.

Stanford sees parallels between Canada and Australia, given both are resource-dependent countries.

"I think manufacturing can come back (here). We need manufacturing to come back," he said. "It was a disastrous mistake to think Canada could be a resource exporter and nothing else.

"When oil was at $100 a barrel, some people though the streets would be paved with gold," he said. "That couldn't last."

Stanford argues there needs to be active strategies to develop industries, along with trade policies and government procurement to buy our own technology or airplanes.

He pointed specifically to Bombardier's struggling CSeries program, noting other aerospace manufacturers like Airbus and Embraer have government backing.

"It's picking a winner, but it's generally seen as 'pork barreling' to support an industry like aerospace. It's parochial, not recognizing what it's like in the world economy."

Stanford argues that the goal posts have shifted – everything from cutting corporate taxes to greater income disparity.

He noted that back in the 1990s, when the Royal Bank of Canada and GM Canada hit $1 billion in profit, it was big news. This week, when RBC posted $10 billion in annual profit, there was little reaction.

"Fewer Canadians are better off, than when I started, and many are worse off," Stanford said, adding a disproportionate share of new wealth has gone to the top 1 per cent of society. "That reflects the economy and political power."

His book, Economics for Everyone, which has just launched its second edition, is aimed at teaching Canadians about the economy and how they can change it.

"Canada has huge things going for it. Economic prosperity comes from work done with our brains and brawn to produce goods and services we need," Stanford said. "Canadians want to work. Canadians are hungry to work.

"We have the capacity to build a society that is prosperous for all of us."

 

Retiree Terry Fitzpatrick
Passes Away

Terry Fitzpatrick
TERRY FITZPATRICK
Oct 27, 1936 - Dec 6, 2015

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the
passing of Retiree Terry Fitzpatrick on December 6, 2015.

He was in his 79th year.

Terry retired from Ford Bramalea on January 1, 2000
with 30.2 years of service.

Our sincerest condolences go out to his family.

FitzPatrick; Joseph Terence

Died suddenly on Sunday December 6, 2015 at the Stayner Care Centre at the age of 79. Terry of Wasaga Beach, beloved husband of the late Lela. Loving father of the late Kevin (Camille), Brian (Jill), Theresa FitzPatrick and Amelda FitzPatrick. Cherished grandfather of Gitane, William, Lela, Joey, Colin (Anna) and Jamie and to great grandchildren Samantha, Lily, Rosie, Amy and Jesse. Predeceased by his parents Francis and Rose FitzPatrick. Dear brother of Jim (Carolyn), Kathleen, the late Ursula, Josephine, Angela, John and Michael. He will also be missed by his many nieces and nephews. Terry will be remembered for his love of family, friends and all things planes, trains and automobiles. Friends will be received at Carruthers & Davidson Funeral Home, 509 River Road West, Wasaga Beach, on Thursday December 10, 2015 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Funeral Service will be held in the Chapel on Friday December 11, 2015 at 2 o'clock. Reception to follow. If desired, donations in Terry's memory to the Wasaga Beach Food Bank or the Heart & Stroke Foundation would be appreciated by his family. For more information and to sign the online Book of Memories, log on to www.carruthersdavidson.com.

 

Funeral Arrangements

Carruthers & Davidson Funeral Home
509 River Road West, Wasaga Beach, ON L9Z 2X2

MAP

Visitation – Thursday December 10, 5-8 pm
Funeral – Friday December 11, 2pm

 

 

 

 

Ford-UAW deal passes
by narrow margin

Michael Martinez,
The Detroit News
November 21, 2015

United Auto Workers employees at Ford Motor Co. narrowly ratified a four-year contract that is among the richest in the history of collective bargaining between the two sides.

The deal was passed by a slim 51.4 percent margin, the union said late Friday. Roughly 51.3 percent of production workers voted for the deal, while 52.4 percent skilled trades said "yes."

Ratification of the Ford deal came hours after the union ratified the General Motors Co. contract, which had been held up for a week after rejection by skilled trades members. New labor deals are now in place at all three automakers after a long and often contentious process that's unfolded since the previous contracts expired Sept. 14.

The fate of the deal came down to the final ballots at UAW Local 600 in Dearborn, which finished voting at 6 p.m. Friday. Final results from the entire union local were not immediately released, but roughly 4,300 workers at Dearborn Truck passed it by a 74 percent margin, and roughly 1,600 workers at Dearborn Stamping passed it by a 71 percent margin. Local 600 represents about 8,200 total workers.

"Our UAW members have ratified the national agreement after a long process and much debate," UAW President Dennis Williams said in a statement. "The voice of the majority has secured a strong future that will provide job security and economic stability for themselves and their families."

John Fleming, Ford's executive vice president for global manufacturing and labor affairs, said, "This agreement provides a good foundation for Ford Motor Company, our employees and our communities as we work together to create an even stronger business in the years ahead."

UAW-Ford Department Vice President Jimmy Settles said, "There is no higher authority than the membership. Through a fair and democratic process UAW-Ford members have delivered job security and strong economic gains for their families and communities."

But almost immediately, some workers took to the UAW International's official Facebook page and called for a recount.

"Recount & investigation required!!!" a Facebook user named Jeff Mathews posted on the page.

"The votes didn't matter," wrote another Facebook commenter named Brian Adair. "It was going to pass regardless. That's how crooked they are."

The Ford deal gives all workers significant raises. It includes $9 billion in plant investments, more than General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles combined. And it creates or retains 8,500 jobs. Workers will receive $10,000 bonuses, and retirees will get $1,000 total over the course of the four-year pact.

But some workers wanted more. Many believed the eight-year progression to top wages should have been shorter and felt retirees deserved more. They wanted back all the concessions they had given during the economic downturn when the automakers were struggling for survival.

"Why can't we get back to the pay and benefits we used to have? Don't tell us the company can't afford it," said Gary Walkowicz, a bargaining committee member from Local 600 in Dearborn, who has openly opposed the deal.

On Wednesday, the union launched a last-ditch effort to save the pact as UAW-Ford Vice President Jimmy Settles and Local 600 President Bernie Ricke called a news conference in Dearborn to emphasize the contract's benefits. They warned that a better deal likely wouldn't happen. But "no" votes from large plants in Chicago and Dearborn made passage of the deal less likely.

"A lot of people are upset," said Joe Marx, 45, a Local 600 member who recently was bumped up from second-tier wages. "It's not a totally bad contract, but when you get to the heart of it ... it's not like it used to be."

Art Wheaton, a labor expert from Cornell, said the close vote means both sides did their job.

"They did not do a bad job of bargaining," he said. "They got quite a bit."

 

Ford-UAW deal richest of
the Big Three automakers

Michael Martinez,
Melissa Burden and
Michael Wayland,
Detroit News
November 10, 2015

The tentative labor pact between Ford Motor Co. and the UAW is the richest of Detroit's Big Three, and industry analysts say it avoids the hangups that stalled ratification of deals at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and General Motors Co.

The Dearborn automaker's tentative deal approved by the Ford National Council Monday in Detroit is now in the hands of 52,900 hourly employees, who will vote locally beginning this week.

It includes higher bonuses, richer buyout offers and more promised investments than labor pacts between the UAW and the other two Detroit automakers.

"I think they're trying to avoid the pitfalls that the other two have encountered," said Kristin Dziczek, director of the Industry & Labor Group at the Center for Automotive Research. "They don't want to have either case repeat."

Fiat Chrysler workers overwhelmingly turned down a first tentative agreement by 65 percent; and GM skilled trades workers last week voted down their agreement with the Detroit-based automaker, delaying final ratification.

UAW-FORD Contract Summary Nov 2015
Click Here

"The big key is that (Ford) made a significant adjustment to the skilled trades," said Art Wheaton, a labor expert at Cornell University. "It sounds like they're trying to do a lot to get this thing ratified without a lot of the brouhaha."

Overall, Ford's skilled trades workers are expected to receive nearly $35,100 in new money over the four-year life of the deal — about $2,500 more than typical production workers. That's in addition to profit-sharing, which the union says was worth about $30,000 for a typical worker during the 2011-15 contract.

The union said negotiators also "resisted the company's attempt to further consolidate skilled trades classifications."

GM's skilled trades workers are expected to have some classifications consolidated, pending the contract's ratification. That's part of the reason why skilled trades workers late last week voted against GM's tentative deal, forcing the union this week to hold follow-up meetings to determine what to do next. UAW local presidents and shop chairs Tuesday are to wrap up two days of meetings with GM skilled trades workers, but the UAW has not yet set a meeting for its International Executive Board to determine its next course of action, a union spokesman said Monday.

Hikes retroactive to Sept. 15

Ford's deal includes a $10,000 total signing bonus: $8,500, plus a $1,500 advance in profit sharing. Temporary employees will receive $2,000. That's more than the $8,000 GM workers would receive and the $3,000-$4,000 FCA workers got.

And because contract negotiations have taken so long, Ford workers will receive their wage increases retroactive to Sept. 15.

The Ford pact also pledges $9 billion in U.S. plant investments, including $4 billion investments in assembly operations, that will create or retain 8,500 jobs. It promises no plant closings over the four years of the contract.

As part of its production plans, Ford said in the contract that the Taurus, Focus, C-Max and Fusion would continue "through their product life cycle," but not beyond that. Ford previously said it would end production of the Focus and C-Max in 2018 at its Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, and The Detroit News first reported in August that the Ranger truck would be built there in 2018. The Taurus is made at Chicago Assembly, while the Fusion is made at Flat Rock and in Mexico.

The contract "highlighter" document says only that Michigan Assembly will receive a new vehicle in 2018, and another no later than 2020.

In addition, the contract revealed that Ford will stop producing the Lincoln MKC at its Louisville Assembly Plant once its product life cycle is complete to make room to build more Escapes. It's unclear where Ford intends to move MKC production.

The moratorium on plant closures is a big win for the Rawsonville, Sterling Axle and Woodhaven Stamping facilities, which were given new life with a new pay structure and in-sourcing at Woodhaven. Second-tier employees, who make less than veteran workers, will make $16.25-$19.86 at those plants, according to the contract.

"The significant new investments will strengthen job security and job growth over the long-term," UAW President Dennis Williams said in a statement. "We worked hard to secure an agreement that provides a clear path to traditional wages for all members and substantial raises for traditional members for the first time in 10 years. Our members will have the final word, and we look forward to the conversation in the days ahead."

'Hard-earned victory'

The Ford pact also includes $1,750 in additional annual bonuses and patterns wage increases for veteran workers after the deal ratified by FCA workers and the tentative agreement reached between GM and the UAW.

First-tier workers will receive two, 3 percent base wage increases and two 4 percent lump sum bonuses over the course of the contract. Second-tier workers will have an eight-year grow-in period to reach top wages. Ford's agreement also includes moving entry-level workers to traditional workers' health care plans, similar to the GM pact.

New hires would top out at $28 an hour, according to the contract.

Ford had a 20 percent cap on the number of second-tier workers its could employ. With roughly 29 percent of its workers at that level, Ford before negotiations moved about 800 second-tier workers to first-tier status. During negotiations, Ford added about 300 more, bringing the total number of workers bumped up to top pay to about 1,100.

Select eligible skilled trades workers and all other hourly employees will be a part of targeted early retirement buyouts. The programs will provide gross lump-sum incentive payments of $70,000. Timing was not announced, citing it will be up to the automaker and union.

"This tentative agreement delivers substantial wins for members. It's a hard-earned victory for our members, their families and our union," UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles, said in a statement.

The deal does not change Ford's profit-sharing formula that pays hourly workers $1 for every $1 million in North America profits, but it removed the cap on the amount of company profits captured in the profit-sharing plan. Previously, workers would not have been paid on any profits above $12 billion.

Ford's 124,000 retirees will receive $1,000 over the contract's four years.

Like at FCA and GM, Ford workers will receive 64 holidays over the course of the four-year pact, including the restoration of Easter Monday. Also following the pattern set at GM & FCA, Ford workers will have the day off on the actual Veteran's Day holiday, not the long weekend normally reserved for the start of hunting season.

Ultimately, analysts believe the Ford deal will be ratified.

"You can't take any ratification for granted; no matter how much they get they're always going to want more," Wheaton said. "But I would think of the three, this one should be a little better off for ratification."

Ford product investment

■Chicago Assembly will receive $900 million investment:

Includes new Ford Explorer, new Police SUV Interceptor and a new vehicle to be named later, and Taurus will continue through current lifecycle

■Dearborn Truck will receive $250 million in investment:

F-150 will continue, new Ford Raptor will be added

■Flat Rock Assembly will receive $400 million investment:

Ford Mustang will continue, adds new Lincoln Continental and Fusion will continue through its lifecycle based on demand

■Kansas City Assembly will receive $200 million in investment:

Ford F-150 and Transit continue

■Kentucky Truck Assembly will receive $600 million in investment:

All-new Ford Super Duty truck and Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator continue with a major investment, in-sourcing of some work

■Louisville Assembly will receive $700 million investment:

All-new Ford Escape and current Lincoln MKC "will balance out" or move from the location, to allow capacity for Escape

■Michigan Assembly will receive $700 million in new investment:

New vehicle to be added in 2018, with additional product planned no later than 2020; Ford Focus and C-Max will move out

■Ohio Assembly to receive $250 million investment

Ford medium-duty truck continue, with new product to be announced


 

UAW members in Fairfax,
Lansing split on GM contract

Melissa Burden,
The Detroit News
November 2, 2015

Thousands of General Motors Co. hourly workers will vote Monday on a tentative agreement, which financially is richer than the company's 2011 contract and what Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV employees ratified, but so far has received mixed support from UAW members at two GM assembly plants.

UAW hourly employees at GM's first two assembly plants to vote on a new tentative agreement split their votes: Lansing Grand River Assembly favored it, but Fairfax Assembly in Kansas City, Kansas voted it down by a 2-1 margin.

GM Flint Assembly, Arlington Assembly, Orion Assembly and Toledo Transmission employees are among UAW members slated to vote on the deal Monday. Still other locals will vote later in the week.

The tentative agreement, if ratified nationally, would provide 52,600 members a larger bonus from the 2011 contract, raises and would move entry-level workers to the same health care plan as veteran workers.

As was the case with the first failed Fiat Chrysler pact, some GM employees are voicing their concerns about the contract on social media and are encouraging people to vote "no." Some are upset over a different pay scale at four GM Components Holdings plants and others appear to think veteran GM and skilled trades workers should have gotten more in the tentative deal.

April Spiess, a tier-one or veteran worker at Lansing Grand River, said she voted no on the contract because it didn't change vacation policy; she wanted to see vacation options to use whenever she wants, not when during shutdown periods. But Spiess said she is happy the vote passed at her plant.

"It was nice to see raises back," said Spiess, 40, of Laingsburg, who has worked for GM for 15 years. "That's a good thing."

The UAW's tentative agreement for GM hourly workers includes an $8,000 signing bonus for all workers and $2,000 for temporary workers; pay raises for veteran workers consisting of two 3 percent increases in the first and third years of the contract and two 4 percent lump-sum payments in years two and four. The deal includes the gradual elimination of the pay gap between veteran workers and new hires, allowing entry-level, or two-tier workers to reach a top wage of about $29 an hour in eight years.

It also includes annual performance bonuses of $1,000 and an additional $500 bonus when quality metrics are reached. If ratified, GM will offer up to 4,000 eligible employees a $60,000 early retirement incentive and will invest $1.9 billion in U.S. facilities, creating or retaining 3,300 jobs at 12 plants.

Industry analysts last week told The Detroit News they thought the contract, while costly to GM, was good for GM workers and they expected it to pass. Some workers on social media say they will support the deal given the bonuses and pay increases. The union also has been posting information about the economic gains in the contract on Facebook pages.

Todd McDaniel, chairman of the UAW-GM National negotiating committee and chair of UAW Local 362 representing Bay City Powertrain employees, posted on a Facebook page a message trying to quell some people who have said they will vote "no" to get a better deal.

"I firmly believe that this agreement has all of the total cash value that we will get without a strike," McDaniel wrote. "I also believe that even with a strike if we gain anything, and I am very doubtful of that, it will come at great cost."

McDaniel, in the post, mentioned that a strike could last weeks or months and likely lacks public support and that workers may not get any job guarantees after a strike.

"Our job as a bargaining committee is to bring our members the best possible agreement while maintaining job security, and that is exactly what this contract offers. It provides significant gains for ALL MEMBERS," he wrote. "I ask that you look at the whole package, not just what you didn't get but the package as a whole. Wages, bonuses, holidays, vacation, profit sharing, transfer right, seniority agreements and, above all, Job Security."

At Fairfax Assembly, home of the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse, 37 percent of production workers voted "yes" and 63 percent voted "no" on the national agreement. The result among skilled trades workers was similar, with 34 percent voting "yes" and 66 percent voting "no," according to results posted on UAW Local 31's Facebook page. The plant employs about 3,230 hourly workers.

UAW Local 31 leaders could not be reached for comment over the weekend.

Mike Green, UAW Local 652 president, said Saturday that 57 percent of hourly members at Lansing Grand River voted "yes" on the deal. The Lansing Grand River plant has about 1,570 employees.

"The members have spoken," Green said. "They passed it."

A handout reviewed by The News of UAW Local 652 results shows 58 percent of production employees voted "yes," while 52 percent of skilled trades voted "no." The local tallied 1,098 votes.

Lansing Grand River members who build the Cadillac ATS, CTS and Chevrolet Camaro voted Friday on the pact, just two days after the UAW National GM Council approved the tentative agreement Wednesday. Hourly employees at the Fairfax plant voted on the tentative agreement Friday into Saturday morning.

The union and GM approved the tentative agreement late Oct.25, averting a possible strike.

More informational meetings are slated at some local unions into the week, with most voting appearing to wrap up by Friday.

Fiat Chrysler UAW members overwhelmingly ratified a deal — a second agreement after the first tentative agreement was voted down by a 2-to-1 margin — with the union that was announced Oct. 22. In the second vote, 77 percent of production workers voted "yes;" skilled trades supported it by 72 percent; and salaried bargaining supported it at 87 percent.

The union may wait to begin final negotiations with Ford Motor Co. on a tentative agreement until after GM's voting is completed. The contract expired Sept. 14 and Ford is working under an extension.


Trans-Pacific Partnership
deal bad for auto sector,
Ford Canada head says

Greg Keenan
AUTO INDUSTRY REPORTER —
The Globe and Mail
Oct. 26, 2015

Key automotive provisions of the Trans-Pacific trade agreement are bad for Canada, so the new Liberal government needs to take a careful look at the deal before approving it, says Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd. chief executive officer Dianne Craig.

"We see [the Trans-Pacific Partnership] as a setback," Ms. Craig said in an e-mail on Sunday."At a minimum, the Canadian negotiators should have at least ensured Canada's auto sector mirrored the U.S. standards."

She is the only CEO of an auto maker operating in Canada to speak out against the deal, which removes tariffs on Japanese-built automobiles entering this country, allows auto makers in all 12 TPP countries to import vehicles with less regional content in them than the current rules of the North American free-trade agreement and removes tariff barriers on Canadian-built vehicles shipped to Malaysia and Vietnam.

Ms. Craig will take her case to Ottawa next month after the Liberal cabinet is appointed. One of the key issues she raised is the period during which Canada's 6.1-per-cent duty on vehicles imported from Japan will be eliminated under the TPP. That will happen over a fiveyear period once the trade deal comes into force, compared with a 25-year phaseout for the 2.5- per-cent U.S. tariff on passenger cars and 30 years for the 25-per-cent U.S. tariff on Japan-built trucks.

The impact the tariff elimination will have on sales depends on whether Japan-based companies reduce prices or take the tariff reduction as a contribution to profits, "but the industry is so competitive, so it still matters," Ms. Craig said.

The TPP trade deal has won public support from Canada's second- and third-largest auto parts companies, Linamar Corp. and Martinrea International Inc.

Executives of several of Canada's smaller parts makers have spoken out privately against the deal, saying that as suppliers mainly to auto makers in North America, they can't compete with companies in such low-wage countries as Vietnam and Malaysia. Among their fears is that Japan-based companies will increase their purchase of components made in those countries, assemble them into vehicles made in Japan, and then have the ability to ship those vehicles dutyfee to Canada.

Ford previously supported the Canada-EU free-trade deal, but opposed the Canada-South Korea deal, which will eliminate the 6.1-per-cent tariff on vehicles imported from South Korea. That will benefit Hyundai Canada. and Kia Canada.

Those Japan-based companies that have been asked whether they will reduce prices as a result of the elimination of the tariff on vehicles they make in their home country have said it's too early to tell if they will do so.

Mazda Canada Inc. and Subaru Canada Inc. stand to benefit most from tariff reduction. Each of those auto makers imported more than 70 per cent of the vehicles they sold in Canada last year from Japan.

Ford and the Canadian units of the Fiat Chrysler Automotives NV and General Motors Co. had also urged the federal government to ensure there was a clause in the TPP that prevented governments from manipulating currencies. Such a clause is not in the deal.

The previous Conservative government, which agreed to the TPP deal, promised during the election campaign to offer $1-billion over 10 years to attract new automotive investment and change the terms of financial support it offered to the industry, in part as an acknowledgment that sections of the industry would be harmed by the deal.

The federal government treated financial support to auto makers as loans and considered those loans taxable income, a measure that infuriated auto makers, notably Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc.

Ms. Craig said she will urge the new government to offer grants instead of loans and no longer make such financial support taxable.

The Canadian Automotive Partnership Council, a joint industry-union group that advises the federal, Ontario and Quebec governments on automotive policy, made such a recommendation last year.

The 10-year, $1-billion campaign promise made by the Tories represents a "drop in the bucket" when it comes to new automotive investment and the amounts of money that Mexico and southern U.S. states are offering, Ms. Craig noted.

She said she will urge Ottawa to increase that amount and adopt a national automotive strategy that will help encourage auto makers to increase investment in Canada

 


Trans-Pacific Partnership
deal bad for auto sector,
Ford Canada head says

Greg Keenan
AUTO INDUSTRY REPORTER —
The Globe and Mail
Oct. 26, 2015

Key automotive provisions of the Trans-Pacific trade agreement are bad for Canada, so the new Liberal government needs to take a careful look at the deal before approving it, says Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd. chief executive officer Dianne Craig.

"We see [the Trans-Pacific Partnership] as a setback," Ms. Craig said in an e-mail on Sunday."At a minimum, the Canadian negotiators should have at least ensured Canada's auto sector mirrored the U.S. standards."

She is the only CEO of an auto maker operating in Canada to speak out against the deal, which removes tariffs on Japanese-built automobiles entering this country, allows auto makers in all 12 TPP countries to import vehicles with less regional content in them than the current rules of the North American free-trade agreement and removes tariff barriers on Canadian-built vehicles shipped to Malaysia and Vietnam.

Ms. Craig will take her case to Ottawa next month after the Liberal cabinet is appointed. One of the key issues she raised is the period during which Canada's 6.1-per-cent duty on vehicles imported from Japan will be eliminated under the TPP. That will happen over a fiveyear period once the trade deal comes into force, compared with a 25-year phaseout for the 2.5- per-cent U.S. tariff on passenger cars and 30 years for the 25-per-cent U.S. tariff on Japan-built trucks.

The impact the tariff elimination will have on sales depends on whether Japan-based companies reduce prices or take the tariff reduction as a contribution to profits, "but the industry is so competitive, so it still matters," Ms. Craig said.

The TPP trade deal has won public support from Canada's second- and third-largest auto parts companies, Linamar Corp. and Martinrea International Inc.

Executives of several of Canada's smaller parts makers have spoken out privately against the deal, saying that as suppliers mainly to auto makers in North America, they can't compete with companies in such low-wage countries as Vietnam and Malaysia. Among their fears is that Japan-based companies will increase their purchase of components made in those countries, assemble them into vehicles made in Japan, and then have the ability to ship those vehicles dutyfee to Canada.

Ford previously supported the Canada-EU free-trade deal, but opposed the Canada-South Korea deal, which will eliminate the 6.1-per-cent tariff on vehicles imported from South Korea. That will benefit Hyundai Canada. and Kia Canada.

Those Japan-based companies that have been asked whether they will reduce prices as a result of the elimination of the tariff on vehicles they make in their home country have said it's too early to tell if they will do so.

Mazda Canada Inc. and Subaru Canada Inc. stand to benefit most from tariff reduction. Each of those auto makers imported more than 70 per cent of the vehicles they sold in Canada last year from Japan.

Ford and the Canadian units of the Fiat Chrysler Automotives NV and General Motors Co. had also urged the federal government to ensure there was a clause in the TPP that prevented governments from manipulating currencies. Such a clause is not in the deal.

The previous Conservative government, which agreed to the TPP deal, promised during the election campaign to offer $1-billion over 10 years to attract new automotive investment and change the terms of financial support it offered to the industry, in part as an acknowledgment that sections of the industry would be harmed by the deal.

The federal government treated financial support to auto makers as loans and considered those loans taxable income, a measure that infuriated auto makers, notably Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc.

Ms. Craig said she will urge the new government to offer grants instead of loans and no longer make such financial support taxable.

The Canadian Automotive Partnership Council, a joint industry-union group that advises the federal, Ontario and Quebec governments on automotive policy, made such a recommendation last year.

The 10-year, $1-billion campaign promise made by the Tories represents a "drop in the bucket" when it comes to new automotive investment and the amounts of money that Mexico and southern U.S. states are offering, Ms. Craig noted.

She said she will urge Ottawa to increase that amount and adopt a national automotive strategy that will help encourage auto makers to increase investment in Canada

 

Federal Election Results
October 19, 2015


Last night’s election results clearly demonstrated that Canadians want change. Canadians sent a clear message that the Harper Conservative agenda does not represents our interests and needs.

The Liberals have said that they want to transform the country and Parliament. Now they are in a position to do so and we are expecting change. The new government must bring a new spirit of collaboration to Ottawa and should work with the NDP so Canadians can benefit from the best ideas, often born of cooperation.

We lament the loss of the many progressive and thoughtful NDP MPs who lost their seats in this election.

Thank you to the thousands of Unifor members across Canada who got involved in this election, through workplace canvasses, volunteering on local campaigns and bringing attention to important local issues. Thank you for your efforts.

Our work is not finished, it is only beginning – we will remain committed to changing the politics of this country so that we can all thrive.

We will ensure the Liberals are held to account for the commitments they made during the election, including: protecting our health care system, improving Employment Insurance and strengthening the Canada Pension Plan.

This is not over, this is only the beginning of the change we must see in our country. 

In solidarity,
Jerry Dias - President, Unifor

http://www.uniforvotes.ca/

 

Automotive Policies of the
Big Three Political Parties

by Jacob Black
October 14, 2015

It's an industry that employs more than half a million people with about a quarter of those employed directly. There is a significant population employed in downstream supply and there are entire towns that rely on the presence of automotive manufacturing to keep afloat.

Yet, the automotive industry in Canada is on rocky ground. There are many who fear Canada could be the next Australia – which will lose its final automotive factory in 2017 when Ford, GM and Toyota all wrap up production.

Here in Canada General Motors' Oshawa plant has already seen reductions in production and recently lost the job of building the Camaro – one of the General's halo cars. That blow was demoralizing on an emotional level but it was perhaps the loss of pickup truck production at the campus that impacted the community hardest with the loss of jobs. And though GM's Ingersoll plant retained production of the high-volume Equinox, Oshawa is feeling the pressure.

Toyota produces the RAV4, Corolla and Lexus RX in Canada at the moment but will shift Corolla production to Mexico in 2016. Corolla production in Cambridge will be replaced with larger cars but those will surely have less build volumes than the highly popular Corolla.

Fiat Chrysler Automotive is also looking like cutting minivan and Ram Cargo Van production from the Windsor plant after failing to secure government incentives to retool the facility. FCA will continue to build the Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger and Chrysler 300 at the Brampton plant.

In total since 2003 over 50,000 manufacturing jobs have left Canada.

Since 2009 alone 145 automotive supplier plants in Canada have closed and 41 have opened leaving a net loss of 104 plants. Nine new car building plants have been added in North America, most of which were in Mexico, none in Canada.

This, at a time when automotive sales are through the roof.

In 2014 more than $24 billion was spent on new investments, a third more than in 2013. Of that money, Canada attracted just $118 million, or 0.5 percent.

China got $12.7B in 2014, with Mexico and the USA, Canada's biggest competitors scoring $4.2 and $9.3 each. In 2015, the USA and Mexico are both securing large investments and adding more jobs than Canada is.

The gap is set to get wider, despite Honda committing $857M to its Alliston, Ontario plant, GM spending $560M to shore up 3,000 jobs at Ingersoll and Ford adding 400 jobs at Oakville.


NDP leader Tom Mulcair's unveiling of his party's automotive platform this month put the issue of automotive jobs squarely in the spotlight, but has the manufacturing ship sailed for Canada?

The Automotive Policy Research Centre (APRC) at McMaster University highlights the shift in production to countries like Mexico as a key challenge for Canadian manufacturers. Mexico has more advantageous trade agreements, lower wage costs and lower taxes than Canada.

The APRC also identifies two trends in the sector that could give Canada an opportunity to redefine its role and cement jobs and industry here. Those two trends are the pursuit of lower vehicle emissions in efforts to reduce air pollution and the emergence of the vehicle as a hub of connectivity. In short, the growth of advanced technology is an opportunity for Canada to flex its muscles as a nation with a well-educated, highly skilled, and innovative workforce.

With a federal election looming and in the wake of the NDP's policy unveiling we decided to drill down and get to the bones of what the big three are offering and what direction they see the industry moving.

New Democratic Party

Tom Mulcair promises to protect the existing regional content rules during trade negotiations, propping up a valuable safety net for the industry.

The NDP will also immediately re-fund the University of Windsor's Auto21 Network of Centres of Excellence. That program is currently in its final year of funding, and a renewal would see it continue to coordinate research into everything from child seats to manufacturing techniques and anti-theft systems.

Mulcair also promises to set up a one-stop shop for investors called ICanada. This would allow auto investors to access a new government service that helps connect them with the various government programs and financial incentives available.

The centrepiece of the NDP policy though is a $90-million boost in funding to the Federal Automotive Supplier Innovation Program. The fund, to which the Conservatives pledged $100M in April, will get the extra $90M over five years.

In addition, the NDP will remove the taxation claimed by CRA on loans paid out from the fund, saving $20M for investors. The tax was claimed payable as loans made under the scheme were considered income by the revenue agency, which would change under an NDP government.

"I will be a champion for the auto sector and will work closely with automakers and provinces to attract investment in automobile assembly and parts manufacturing," said party leader Tom Mulcair.

"With a reliable partner in an NDP government, I believe the best days are ahead for Canada's automakers – together we can kick-start manufacturing."

The NDP plan has strong support from Unifor and the United Steel Workers.

Liberal Party of Canada

It's all about going green over in Justin Trudeau's camp. While they haven't yet unveiled a specific automotive or manufacturing policy, the Liberals have their own automotive caucus to focus on the issue and has earmarked "clean" technology as an area of focus for any future Liberal Government.

"We understand that manufacturing is the number one investor in research and development. We will help manufacturers to modernize and reach new markets," the Party said in a statement to autoTRADER.ca.

"As a start, we believe Canada can be the world's most competitive tax jurisdiction for investments in the research, development, and manufacturing of clean technology. We will consult on ways to enhance the scientific research and experimental development tax credit – in conjunction with other tax measures – to generate more clean technology investment.

"Moreover, we will invest $100 million more per year in organizations that have been successful at supporting the emergence of clean technology firms in Canada and work in partnership with the private sector to enhance the availability of venture capital for new, clean technology."

These commitments are indicative of a Liberal Party focus that moves away from traditional manufacturing and moves towards the new style of automotive market. But, the Liberals have also committed $60 billion in infrastructure funding. They say the New Building Canada Fund will "prioritize investments in roads, bridges, transportation corridors, ports, and border gateways" – this spending on infrastructure is how the Liberals plan to attract more investment into Canada and by extension, the automotive sector.

The commitment to assist research in clean technology aligns with the APRC's recognition of current trends in the automotive sector and the ongoing push for cleaner technology and lower vehicle emissions.

To sum it up, while not committing any funding to support existing manufacturing jobs, the Liberals aim to support manufacturing in the country by fostering the development of new tech.

Conservative Party of Canada

The Conservative Party opted to bail out Chrysler and GM after the 2008 Global Financial Crisis (GFC), and in April pledged $100 million to the Federal Automotive Supplier Innovation Program. That money in part came out of the Automotive Innovation Fund which has been under-utilized.

The Conservative Party has been criticized for the decline in manufacturing jobs in Canada over the past 10 years, but points out that it also saved the Windsor, Brampton, Oshawa and Ingersoll plants from certain death at the peak of the GFC with the GM and Chrysler bailouts. The shares in GM were sold this year at an estimated loss of $3.5 billion.

Manufacturing jobs in Canada have fallen by 5,500 since 2010 with the heaviest losses felt in Windsor.

Having said that, the industry has seen a boost in investment in 2015, with Ford, GM and Honda all announcing new projects. Ford added 400 jobs at Oakville for the Ford Edge, GM will spend $560M on its Ingersoll plant which currently employs 3,000 people and Honda will spend $857M on the plant at Alliston.

Just two weeks ago, in Windsor, Stephen Harper announced a new, five-year, $100M Manufacturing Technology Demonstration Fund. This would provide grants instead of loans to fund research into new manufacturing products and technology across a range of manufacturing sectors, including automotive.

Similar to the NDP, the Conservative Party would also form a new office within the PMO which would focus on attracting new investors, businesses and export partners to Canada.

This would remove much of the red tape which manufacturers say is hurting their ability to access programs like the Automotive Innovation Fund which had over half-a-million dollars of unused money left over in 2014.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership

While the TPP is far broader than just automotive manufacturing its far-reaching consequences could impact the industry. There are 12 countries in the TPP, the USA, Japan, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Malaysia, Singapore, Chile, Peru, New Zealand, Vietnam and Brunei.

Theoretically the TPP will open up trade in goods, services and agriculture more than any agreement prior. This on one hand opens up new markets and therefore more demand for Canadian goods but on the other could make Canada more vulnerable to price-competition for goods and services. It will almost certainly reduce the amount of protection the government can provide local industries through tax policies and local content rules.

On the pro side, the Conservative Party is as we speak working to secure Canada's position in the new Trans Pacific Partnership. Stephen Harper says the TPP is essential for Canada and that it will open foreign export markets for Canadian suppliers, including Canadian automotive parts suppliers. It also reduces the reliance on exports to America at a time when American economic influence is waning.

The Liberal Party likewise supports the TPP but expresses concern about protecting Canadian laws. It wants to ensure the TPP doesn't unduly expose Canadian industry, but also wants to make sure trade happens within the legal framework of Canada. In other words, the Liberal Party wants to ensure Canada's sovereignty is not weakened by the TPP. Still, the Liberal Party is likely to support the agreement.

The NDP is concerned about the impact the TPP will have on agriculture in particular and farmers make up a large base of the party.

The NDP is also concerned the TPP will impact "local content" restrictions. Currently vehicles sold in North America must have 62.5 percent locally-made parts in order to escape duties. Individual auto parts needed to have 60 percent local content. The TPP would reduce that to 45 percent and widen the "local" region to include all 12 TPP countries. The secretive nature of the negotiations means we don't know exactly what's on the table beyond that – yet.

Currently, it looks like the NDP would not sign Canada up to the TPP in order to protect local content rules and protect the Canadian auto sector from competition as well as protect supply management – the systems that help control the price of poultry and dairy products in Canada.

Update: The TPP was signed on Friday, October 5. Full details of the agreement won't be available for some time but you can expect this to take on a deeper significance to the election race.

Summing Up

The NDP platform is very much focused on supporting the existing jobs in manufacturing by boosting the available incentives to investment. They will attract new investors by making it easier for them to liaise with the government and access programs.

The Liberal Party platform is focused on shifting to a new kind of manufacturing economy and is particularly focused on clean/green technology.

The Conservative policy is in some ways a middle ground, with a more modest injection of incentives than the NDP but also a focus on innovation and research funding.

 

Fate of Canada's
auto industry unclear
as TPP eases Japanese
import costs

Greg Keenan
AUTO INDUSTRY
Globe and Mail
Oct 6, 2015

Japan-based auto makers have been lobbying for more than two decades for the elimination of Canada's tariff on vehicles imported from outside North America. They finally got their wish Monday.

The 6.1-per-cent levy will be phased out over five years if the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement is ratified, providing a level playing field for Japanese auto makers with competitors from South Korea and Europe.

Whether that reduction will flow through to vehicle prices – so that Canadian consumers benefit from the trade deal – is a question the auto makers that sell vehicles in Canada refused to respond to or delayed answering pending further study of the deal.

The exception was Honda Canada Inc., which said it imports only about 200 vehicles a year from Japan so the tariff reduction would have little or no impact.

But the bigger question is the impact the deal will have on Canada's auto parts industry and whether it will accelerate the trend of auto investment bypassing Canada in favour of Mexico and the southern United States.

The agreement replaces the North American free-trade agreement and its requirement that vehicles sold in North America contain at least 62.5-per-cent content from the three countries with a new requirement that cars and trucks can be sold tariff-free in all 12 TPP countries with just 45-per-cent content from those countries.

The rules differ for parts, with that same 45-per-cent level required to be considered duty-free for some parts and 40 per cent for other components. Included in the 45-per-cent or 40-per-cent levels are engines, transmissions, chassis components, bumper systems and suspensions, sources said. A third set of parts can be considered originating in TPP countries with just 35-per-cent TPP content.

Those numbers are an improvement on the 30-per-cent numbers the industry was staring at after meetings this summer in Hawaii.

And they're good for large multinational companies that have easy access to capital, such as Linamar Corp., c. and Martinrea International Inc.

"On the other hand, small and medium-sized suppliers to Canada's vehicle assembly supply chain will face new competitive pressure from large, multinational firms from TPP countries and further abroad," Flavio Volpe, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association of Canada, said in a statement Monday.

Some smaller companies that are relying on the low value of the Canadian dollar to stay afloat will be swamped by competition from low-cost countries such as Malaysia and Vietnam, one senior industry executive said.

Other industry sources believe auto makers from Japan that are not located in Canada now will have even less incentive to invest here if their cars can enter duty-free and if they can obtain low-cost parts from China or other countries that can then become part of Japan-made engines or transmissions.

Subaru Canada Inc., for example, imported 72 per cent of the vehicles it sold in Canada in the first nine months of the year from Japan and stands to benefit most among the Japanese companies from the tariff elimination.

The Japanese companies were beginning to increase their investments in new engine and transmission plants in North America, but the deal likely means they will be able to import those components instead of building them on this continent, said industry analyst Dennis DesRosiers, president of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc.

"Did they bargain away the next [engine or transmission] plant?" Mr. DesRosiers asked.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper told reporters that during the next few days he will announce measures to help maintain vehicle assembly in Canada and attract new investment.

But industry officials expressed doubt about whether the federal government can help persuade General Motors Co. find new products for its Oshawa, Ont., assembly plants or Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV to keep its endangered assembly plant in Brampton, Ont., open.

"I don't think our government understands what it takes to win these things," said a senior executive from a Canadian parts maker. "I think it's unpalatable to them."

The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association, whose members consist of the Canadian units of Chrysler, GM and Ford Motor Co., said it is concerned about the five-year phaseout of the 6.1-per-cent tariff. That's a shorter time frame than the U.S. elimination of a 2.5-per-cent tariff on Japanese passenger cars over 25 years and the 30 years it will take to end the 25-per-cent U.S. tariff on light trucks.

The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association of Canada said the fact that the tariff levels are different means the Canadian phaseout does not need to occur over the same period as the United States.

Unifor, the union that represents workers at the Canadian units of the Detroit Three auto makers, said the deal puts 20,000 auto jobs in Canada at risk.

 

UAW pledges new approach
to members for FCA deal

Michael Wayland,
The Detroit News
October 6, 2015

United Auto Workers leaders are promising to handle a second round of contract talks with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV differently than the first discussions that culminated with membership overwhelmingly voting down a tentative four-year deal.

In separate messages published online Monday, UAW President Dennis Williams and Vice President Norwood Jewell said they will not only address members' issues with the contract itself, but communicate better with updates between leadership and the 40,000 rank-and-file with Fiat Chrysler.

"Our responsibility is to you, the membership," Williams said in a message to employees Sunday that was posted online Monday morning. "We are going to continue to bargain on your behalf. We are also going to tell the whole story. This is a very serious situation. I ask that you get the facts as we continue to address your issues."

Both messages were blunt and encouraged members to not be influenced by outside influences and get their information from UAW.org or the union's official Facebook page.

"This would have been good to do two weeks ago," said Kristin Dziczek, Center for Automotive Research director of Industry & Labor Group. "There's greater explanation in this letter than the membership have had in print prior to this."

Jewell's message — published Monday afternoon — promised that updates on negotiations would be published "as they become available," which would be a significant change from leadership asking membership to be patient and wait until a tentative contract was reached.

"Your voice was clear and we have headed back to address the issues that were raised," he said in the statement Monday afternoon. "It is encouraging when so many others say unions are not relevant, that our UAW-FCA membership sees it differently."

Jewell said more than 80 percent, or 32,000, of the union's 40,000 members with Fiat Chrysler participated in the first contract ratification process. Sixty-five percent of members voted against the deal.

Aside from communication, many Fiat Chrysler workers had voiced displeasure with terms of the proposed deal, saying it does not eliminate the two-tier pay system, fails to cap entry-level hires, doesn't do enough to address alternative work schedules and doesn't increase wages enough.

"You have spoken and we heard you. We have been listening to your issues and concerns through your local union leadership," Williams said. "We have real challenges. We all know that without investment and product there is no true job security.

"For someone to suggest we endorse products going to Mexico is just nonsense. We have been fighting NAFTA and other trade agreements every day and are still fighting."

The statement regarding Mexico is in reference to a $5.3 billion investment plan under the failed deal that included moving most of the automaker's car production to Mexico in exchange for more profitable SUVs, pickups and crossovers.

Neither the union nor company have confirmed the product moves, which includes moving production of two cars to Mexico — the Chrysler 200 currently built at Sterling Heights Assembly, and the Dodge Dart currently built at Belvidere. In return, Sterling Heights would get the Ram 1500 pickup from Warren Truck, and Warren would get the Jeep Wagoneer — a three-row SUV that isn't due until at least 2018.

Williams' message goes on to say that the proposed health care co-op is not like the Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association for retirees; that "outside groups like to stir people up"; and that union leadership is fighting for its membership.

"We met with the UAW-FCA local union leadership at great length and are fighting to address your issues taking everything into consideration with all the challenges," Williams said.

The update comes days after The Detroit News and other news media reported that the union would like to return to Fiat Chrysler rather than immediately striking or moving on to Ford Motor Co. or General Motors Co. All remain options, depending on how the talks go.

A Fiat Chrysler spokeswoman on Monday confirmed that the automaker is "talking" with the union but would not elaborate on details. Following the first deal's rejection, the company issued a lengthy statement saying it was "disappointed" by the outcome of the voting but looked "forward to continuing dialogue with the UAW."

Williams previously played down the contract rejection — the first since 1982 with Chrysler workers — as "part of the process" that the union prides itself on.

 

 

Elections Canada
office
now open
seven a days week

Brampton Guardian
September 11, 2015

Elections Canada offices are now open seven days a week in all ridings for the upcoming Oct. 19 federal election.

Offices are open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.

Electors can visit these offices to get information, register, or vote.

Electors can vote early for candidates in their riding at any Elections Canada office across the country until Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 6 p.m.

To vote, electors must bring proof of identity and address.

• Brampton Centre Returning Officer is Janice A Barber, the office is located at 350 Rutherford Rd. South, Suite 202. Phone 1-866-236-8619.

• Brampton East Returning Officer is Bridge Ramdewar, the office is located at 18 Corporation Dr. Phone 1-866-236-8620.

• Brampton North Returning Officer is Paul Thomas McMorrow, the office is located at Sunny Meadow Commercial Centre, 50 Sunny Meadow Blvd. Phone 1-866-236-8621.

• Brampton South Returning Officer is John R. Holman, the office is located at Shoppers World, 499 Main St. South, Suite 64A. Phone 1-866-238-4145.

• Brampton West Returning Officer is Shashikant Nayak, the office is located at Brampton Commons, 60 Gillingham Dr., Suite 501. Phone 1-866-238-4171.

Advance polls are Oct. 9, 10, 11 and 12.


 

It's Time for Workers
to Demand the
Change They Want

OFL
Sid Ryan
Sept 7, 2015

Every generation of parents, from Canada’s First Peoples through each wave of immigration since, have trusted that hard work would deliver a brighter future and improved fortunes for their children and their grandchildren. However, despite record levels of education, today’s youth will become first generation in history to expect a lower standard of living than their parents.

For most of the last century, high school students could expect to graduate into well-paid jobs in manufacturing or other sectors that allowed them to buy a home, support a family and join the middle class. Their counterparts today are graduating from college or university with unprecedented levels of student debt only to wind up wallowing in low-paying service jobs that offer no security, limited benefits and little room for advancement.

Over nearly a decade in office, the Harper Conservatives have engineered a dramatic reversal of fortune across Canada that is driving down wages and threatening to leave future generations behind. For the first time since the 1950s, employment rates have dropped and new job creation has hit the skids. Even in Canada’s economic epicenter, barely 50 percent of workers can take comfort in full-time, permanent jobs.

For the country’s labour unions, this alarming workforce transformation is triggering a profound re-imagining of the labour movement. We are confronting the harsh reality that declining union density and an increasingly precarious workforce are dragging down wages and benefits faster than union standards can pull them up. Unions can no longer respond through self-preservation at the expense of other workers. A truly universal labour movement requires a bottom-up approach to worker action that is driven by a movement of all working people, the unemployed, the precariously employed, the retired and the many diverse communities who are being marginalized within today’s economy. The Ontario Federation of Labour, which has historically only given voice to unionized workers, is now partnering with diverse and vulnerable communities to mount a vigorous defence for the rights and interests of every worker.

For Canada’s voters, the façade of the Conservative economic restructuring has crumbled away. A falling Canadian dollar, plummeting oil prices and the recent backslide into a second recession give the lie to the Conservative claim to be sound fiscal managers. However, for many Canadians, it is the deepening income inequality, wage stagnation and cuts to social programs that are causing voters to look for a more balanced road to shared prosperity.

When Albertans went to the polls last spring in Canada’s Conservative heartland, the result was the punishing defeat of a 40-year-old Conservative Dynasty and an unprecedented mandate for the Alberta New Democratic Party. Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley campaigned on a bold commitment to corporate tax fairness, the environment and a $15 minimum wage – the same hallmarks of Thomas Mulcair’s platform for Canada’s NDP.

What was mistaken at first as simply an Alberta election upset, is looking more and more like a federal forecast. Those who are fed up with corruption in Ottawa, blanket support for corporate Canada and an inexcusable indifference to inequality are seeing the NDP as the better choice.

Around barbecues and campfires across the country, Canadians may be inclined to spend this Labour Day weekend lamenting the end of summer but there is also cause to look optimistically towards the future. The federal election on October 19 will provide and opportunity for voters to chart a new course for Canada. In the weeks and months that follow, we must work together to make the Canadian economy work for everyone.


 

Retiree
Harry Croeze
passes away
July 28, 2015


HARRY CROEZE
1937 - 2015

Retired :
Aug 1, 2002 - 39.3 Years

Our Sincerest Condolences go
out to his wife Doreen and
the entire Family

Visitation:
Friday, July 31st, 2015, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Friday, July 31st, 2015, 7:00pm - 9:00pm

J.S. Jones & Son Funeral Home
11582 Trafalgar Road
P.O. Box 255
Georgetown, ON

Service:
Saturday, August 1st, 2015, 10:30am

J.S. Jones & Son Funeral Home
11582 Trafalgar Road
P.O. Box 255
Georgetown, ON

MAP

Croeze, Harry- Peacefully on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at the Georgetown Hospital. Harry, 78 years of age, beloved husband of Doreen for 55 years. Loving father of Shirley. Cherished grandpa of Raymond and Shana. Dear brother of Elaine, Jane, Bruce and Diane and brother-in-law of June, Johnny and Carol. Fondly remembered by many nieces and nephews. Friends will be received at the J.S. Jones & Son Funeral Home, 11582 Trafalgar Rd., north of Maple Ave., Georgetown 905-877-3631 on Friday from 2-4 & 7-9 pm. Funeral service will be held in the chapel on Saturday August 1, 2015 at 10:30 am. Interment Coningsby Cemetery, Hillsburgh, Ontario. In memory contributions to Cancer Assistance Services of Halton Hills would be appreciated. To send expressions of sympathy visit www.jsjonesandsonfuneralhome.com



 

Tentative Deal Reached to
End Crown Beer Can Strike

TORONTO – The United Steelworkers and Crown Holdings have reached a tentative agreement aimed at ending a 22-month strike at a beer can manufacturing plant in Toronto.

The tentative agreement was reached Wednesday night with the assistance of the Ontario Labour Relations Board. The proposed contract will be presented to striking workers and submitted to a ratification vote during the weekend of July 18-19. Details of the agreement will not be released prior to the ratification vote.

"I commend the members of Steelworkers Local 9176 and their negotiating committee for the incredible solidarity and character they exhibited throughout this prolonged struggle," said Marty Warren, United Steelworkers Ontario Director.

"I thank the Toronto and York Region Labour Council, the Canadian Labour Congress and the many other unions, community groups and residents who provided tremendous financial and moral support to these working families over the last 22 months," Warren said.

*********************************************

After 22 long months, the strike against Crown Holdings is over. It took two long winters of constant picketing, political action, and hard work by the entire labour movement to defeat the company's intention to bust the union. The members of USW Local 9176 vote this weekend on a new contract. Only one person crossed the picket line during the entire strike. The workers' courage through this whole time was absolutely inspiring. Marty Warren, Director of USW District 6 thanked the Labour Council and the many unions that provided support for the strikers. Together we helped keep up the pressure on the government to bring closure to this long dispute.

There are two things to learn from this long struggle. The first is the importance of re-building a culture of strike solidarity within our movement. Many affiliates did exceptional work in coming out to the picket lines and the vigils, while some never got involved at all. If this strike had been lost it would signal to every large employer that it can destroy workplace union leadership with little negative consequence.

The second thing is the crucial need to fix labour law. The six month window after which strikers lose the right to re-instatement was a huge problem, and turned into one of the main obstacles in this dispute. Mike Harris brought in that nasty piece of work, and we must do all we can to get it removed through this process of Labour Law reform.

 

  Local 584 2015 Elections
(Election will Take Place Wednesday May 6, 2015)

 

President/UPC

Sandy Knight – Declined
Tony Gilmour - Accepted
Barb Morrison - Accepted
    Dave Champagne – Decline

Vice President

Kim Timmins - Accepted
Arvin Gangwar - Accepted

Sandy Knight – Decline

Chairperson

Tony Gilmour-Declined
Gary Rumboldt-Accepted
Michelle Harwood-Declined
Tim Harman-Accepted

Financial Secretary

Sandy Brook-Accepted
Geoff Riddle-Accepted
Arvin Gangwar-Declined

Recording Secretary

Michelle Hilts - Accepted
Edison Valdez – Accepted

 Guide

Alison White – Accepted
Thayne Smith – Decline
Tammy Dempsey - Accepted

Sergeant at Arms

Arlene Rudolph - Declined
John Honcharsky - Declined
Pam Lyon - Acclaimed
Naz Naghar - Declined

Trustee (3)

Alison White – Declined
Melony Luffman –Declined
Brian Neilson - Declined
Arlene Rudolph - Acclaimed
Lisa Girgenti – Declined
John Honcharsky - Acclaimed

Committeeperson – Shift 2

Michelle Harwood – Accepted
Andrew Robertson - Accepted

Dan Armstrong - Accepted

Committeeperson – Shift 3

Naz – Acclaimed

Alternate Committeeperson – Shift 2

Alison White – Declined
Andrew Robertson – Declined
Dave Champagne – Declined
Mike Gregory - Declined

Alternate Committeeperson – Shift 3

Rob Broughton – Accepted
Chris Brookbanks – Accepted

Gerald Andrukonis- Declined
Lisa Girgenti- Declined
Edison Valdez - Declined

Health and Safety Rep

Thayne Smith - Accepted
Jeff Hillier – Accepted
Nick Stavroulias - Declined

Alternate Health and Safety Rep

Greg Barnard – Acclaimed
Nick Stavroulias- Declined

Benefit Rep

Michelle Harvey - Accepted
Claudio Parise - Accepted
Arlene Rudolph- Declined
Sandy Knight - Declined

Alternate Benefit Rep

Sandy Knight - Acclaimed
Arlene Rudolph – Declined
Arvin Gangwar - Declined
Sandy Pitman- Declined
Chris Beson – Declined
Pam Lyon – Declined

Education Chair

Mark Machado – Accepted
Melony Luffman – Accepted
Pam Lyon - Declined

Social Services

Sharon Crossley – Acclaimed

 Recreation Chair

     Tammy Dempsey – Declined
Jay Maurente – Declined
     Dwayne Decoste – Acclaimed
   Michelle Sewell – Declined

UWD (United Workers of Diversity)

Lisa Girgenti – Declined
Raj Sahota-Declined
Pat Riley – Acclaimed

Women's Committee Chairperson

Tracey Lauzon - Accepted
Brandy LaFortune – Accepted

Pride Chairperson

Sandy Pitman – Declined
Pat Riley – Declined

By-Laws Committee (2)

Richard Green - Declined
Pam Lyon – Declined
Dave Willson – Declined
Brad Mayberry – Declined
Pat Riley – Acclaimed
Chris Brookbanks – Declined
Raj Sahota –Declined

 Women’s Advocate

Pat Riley – Acclaimed
Lynn Leblanc – Declined
Sandy Pitman – Declined
Sandy Knight – Declined

 EFAP (Employee & Family Assistance)Rep

Glen Swatman – Acclaimed
Tim Borden -Declined

Unifor Council Delegate (1)

Gary Rumboldt-Accepted
Tony Gilmour-Accepted
Barb Morrison-Accepted

Unifor Convention Delegate (1)

Gary Rumboldt – Accepted
Barb Morrison – Accepted
Tony Gilmour
Accepted

Labour Council (3)

Chris Brookbanks – Acclaimed
John Mccloskey – Acclaimed
Tammy Dempsey – Acclaimed

Updated (April 21, 2015)


 

Local 584
Nominations Results

 President/UPC

Sandy Knight - Declined
Tony Gilmour - Reserved
Barb Morrison - Accepted
    Dave Champagne - Reserved

Vice President

Kim Timmins - Accepted
Arvin Gangwar - Reserve
Sandy Knight – Decline

Chairperson

Tony Gilmour-Reserved
Gary Rumboldt-Accepted
Michelle Harwood-Declined
Tim Harman-Reserved

Financial Secretary

Sandy Brook-Accepted
Geoff Riddle-Accepted
Arvin Gangwar-Declined

Recording Secretary

Michelle Hilts - Accepted
EdisonValdez – Accepted

Guide
Alison White – Reserve
Thayne Smith – Reserve
Tammy Dempsey – Reserve
Sergeant at Arms

Arlene Rudolph - Reserved
John Honcharsky - Declined
Pam Lyon - Reserved
Naz Naghar - Declined

Trustee (3)

Alison White - Reserved
Melony Luffman - Reserved
Brian Neilson - Reserved
Arlene Rudolph - Reserved
Lisa Girgenti - Reserved
John Honcharsky - Accepted

Committeeperson – Shift 2

Michelle Harwood – Accepted
Andrew Robertson - Reserved
Dan Armstrong - Accepted

Committeeperson – Shift 3

Naz – Acclaimed

 Alternate Committeeperson – Shift 2

Alison White – Reserved
Andrew Robertson – Reserved
Dave Champagne – Reserved
Mike Gregory - Reserved

Alternate Committeeperson – Shift 3

Rob Broughton – Accepted
Chris Brookbanks – Accepted
Lisa Girgenti- Reserved
Edison Valdez - Declined
Gerald Androkonis - Reserved

Health and Safety Rep

Thayne Smith - Accepted
Jeff Hillier – Reserved
Nick Stavroulias - Reserved

Alternate Health and Safety Rep

Greg Barnard – Accepted
Nick Stavroulias- Reserved

Benefit Rep

Michelle Harvey - Accepted
Claudio Parise - Accepted
Arlene Rudolph- Reserved
Sandy Knight - Declined

Alternate Benefit Rep

Sandy Knight - Accepted
Arlene Rudolph - Reserved
Arvin Gangwar - Reserved
Sandy Pitman- Reserved
Chris Beson - Reserved
Pam Lyon – Declined

Education Chair

Mark Machado – Acclaimed
Melony Luffman – Declined
Pam Lyon - Declined

Social Services

Sharon Crossley – Acclaimed

 Recreation Chair

     Tammy Dempsey – Reserved
Jay Maurente – Reserved
     Dwayne Decoste – Accepted
   Michelle Sewell – Reserved

UWD(United Workers of Deversity)

Lisa Girgenti – Declined
Raj Sahota-Declined
Pat Riley – Declined

Women's Committee Chairperson

Tracey Lauzon - Accepted
Brandy LaFortune – Accepted

 Pride Chairperson

Sandy Pitman – Reserved
Pat Riley – Reserved

By-Laws Committee (2)

Richard Green -Reserved
Pam Lyon – Declined
Dave Willson – Reserved
Brad Mayberry – Declined
Pat Riley – Reserved
Chris Brookbanks – Reserved
Raj Sahota –Declined

 Women’s Advocate

Pat Riley – Reserved
Lynn Leblanc – Reserved
Sandy Pitman – Reserved
Sandy Knight – Reserved

 EFAP (Employee & Family Assistance)Rep

Glen Swatman – Accepted
Tim Borden -Reserved

Unifor Council Delegate (1)

Gary Rumboldt-Accepted
Tony Gilmour- Reserved
Barb Morrison-Accepted

Unifor Convention Delegate (1)

Gary Rumboldt – Accepted
Barb Morrison – Accepted
Tony Gilmour – Reserved

Labour Council (3)

Chris Brookbanks – Acclaimed
John Mccloskey – Acclaimed
Tammy Dempsey – Acclaimed


(April 12, 2015 Meeting)

 

GM pushing Unifor
to ditch defined benefit
compensation packages

Globe & Mail
GREG KEENAN
April 10, 2015

General Motors Co. is pressing the union at two of its Ontario factories to give up a long-cherished element of compensation packages – the defined benefit portion of the pension plan the company provides for newly hired employees.

The auto maker is making the push as it discusses with Unifor – the union that represents hourly paid workers – potential investments in new vehicles and products at assembly plants in Oshawa, Ont., and an engine and transmission making facility in St. Catharines, Ont.

The pressure from GM is "huge," said one Unifor official, who noted that the Unifor local at GM's Cami assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ont., negotiated a full defined contribution plan for new employees. The pension for new unionized employees hired at GM's other Canadian operations is a half defined contribution and half defined benefit.

"When I say huge, I would say they have no interest in doing anything ... if we don't follow suit with what Cami did," said the union official, who spoke on condition that he not be identified.

Defined benefit pension plans have been a pillar of the union movement in Canada for decades, although that pillar is being eroded as corporations scrap them entirely or switch to defined contribution plans for new employees, which eliminates the plans over time.

"This is a huge fundamental issue for us as an organization," Unifor president Jerry Dias said.

If the union gives up the idea of defined benefit plans at GM, they will be ended for newly hired employees at Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd. plants and those operated by FCA Canada (formerly Chrysler) because of what is called pattern bargaining, in which the contract with one of the Detroit Three serves as the template for contracts with the other two companies.

Defined benefit pension plans would also come under pressure at all employers that have them, Mr. Dias added.

"It would have a broad economy-wide impact, not just on auto," said Charlotte Yates, dean of social studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., and a long-time observer of the Canadian labour scene.

"It would be a really hard pill for the national [union] to swallow, because other employers will go after them for it."

Official negotiations on a new contract between Unifor and the Canadian units of the Detroit Three companies begin in about 15 months and GM has said no decisions on new products for Oshawa will be made until those talks are complete.

Mr. Dias said a defined contribution plan only for new employees is an issue that has been raised by GM.

"If you take a look at the profitability of the industry today, there is no reason for them to make that type of a request," he said.

Stephen Carlisle, president of General Motors of Canada Ltd., said in an interview in February that the pension plan is one of the items being discussed as GM assesses its competitive position in Oshawa and whether to allocate new vehicles to the assembly plants.

"We're more inclined to a DC plan than we are a DB plan," Mr. Carlisle said.

He made those comments while announcing that GM and its suppliers will invest $560-million at Cami to produce the next generation of the Chevrolet Equinox crossover.

That was a reminder to union officials in Oshawa and St. Catharines that their plants could win new investment if the pension plan for new hires changes, instead of facing the possibility of closing.

Mr. Dias has been lobbied by people inside the union to replicate the move made by the local in Cami, which has never been included in national GM contracts.

"It's pretty hard for us not to do what Cami did," said one union official.

"In my opinion it's a good thing to do."

Another union official said if Unifor agrees to change the pension plan, it could win new investment, which then means the plants keep operating to generate revenue to fund the defined benefit plans of older employees.

Those plans are underfunded, so they would pay just 67 per cent of full benefits if they were wound up.

 

GTAA DEMONSTRATION
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8, 2015

GTAA

The Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) has a history of contract flipping of good paying jobs to low paying jobs. Contract flipping has resurfaced during Air Canada negotiations and talks have broken off as we do not have a resolve to the loss of our jobs. These members help passengers who have wheelchair/special assistance requests.

The GTAA has contract-flipped one too many times, and we are fighting back to keep our good jobs but also to draw a line in the sand with the GTAA. They have given the work to another company who will pay our members 50% less to do their same job. This would obviously have ripple effects at other airports across the country where we currently do this work as well.

The Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) has become an important front in the struggle for good jobs in Canada. Last month, the GTAA changed providers leading to layoffs of more than 260 workers who service passengers with special needs.

Unifor is accusing the GTAA of "contract flipping," the legal but unethical practice of switching service providers every few years to suppress wages and benefits. When a new contract begins, employees must re-apply for their job and face uncertainty or unemployment. More recently, the GTAA de-railed bargaining between Unifor and Air Canada by demanding that
similar work done by Unifor Local 2002 members be contracted out. "Unifor was formed to fight back against the abuse of low-wage and precarious workers," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "We will do whatever it takes to ensure these workers are treated fairly and aren't thrust into unemployment by the whims of the GTAA."

Unifor held two large demonstrations and several information pickets to raise awareness about the GTAA's attack on good jobs. "The campaign against the GTAA is symbolic of our
broader battle against bad employers," said Dias. "If we let this happen at the GTAA, it will happen at airports right across Canada, costing hundreds of jobs."

For more Pictures Click here

 

Congratulations to our
newest Retiree

Chris Blair

CHRIS BLAIR

Retired April 1, 2015

43.2 Years of service

 

Ford CEO Mark Fields
earned $18.6 million in 2014

Michael Martinez,
The Detroit News
March 28, 2015

Ford Motor Co. President and CEO Mark Fields earned $18,596,497 in 2014, an increase from his total compensation of $10,170,578 in 2013 as Ford's chief operating officer.

Fields, who took over as CEO on July 1, earned a base salary of $1,662,500 last year. His total compensation includes a $3,185,000 bonus, long-term stock options and other performance-based equity awards.

"We remain absolutely committed to aligning executive compensation with the company's business performance and to tying a significant portion of executive compensation to long-term shareholder value," Ford said in a statement.

The Dearborn automaker last year earned a pre-tax profit of $6.3 billion. It's 2015 outlook is for a pre-tax profit ranging between $8.5-$9.5 billion.

Ford achieved 91 percent of its total 2014 targets, which include automotive revenue, automotive operating margin, operating-related cash flow, profit before tax and quality. It exceeded its targets in the areas of operating-related cash flow (120 percent), profit before tax (113 percent) and quality (132 percent), but fell short of its goals in the areas of automotive revenue (44 percent) and automotive operating margin (68 percent).

Last year, Ford spent $260,156 for Fields to have personal use of an aircraft. It spent $297,801 for executive chairman Bill Ford to have use of an aircraft, along with $766,445 for security for Ford.

Executive compensation includes:

■Bill Ford made $15,110,695 in 2014, an increase from the $11,955,829 he earned in 2013. That includes a base salary of $2 million, a bonus of $910,000 and various stock options.

■Bob Shanks, Ford's executive vice president and chief financial officer, made $6,320,646 last year, up from $4,089,621.

■Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of the Americas, made $6,092,630, up from $4,409,949 the year before.

■Jim Farley, Ford's president of Europe, Middle East & Africa, earned $4,494,764, up from $4,261,225.

■ Former CEO Alan Mulally earned $22,042,128 last year, down from $23,204,534 he earned in 2013 as his last full year as CEO. In 2014, Mulally's compensation included a $1,000,000 base salary, a $3,185,000 bonus and various stock awards. Mulally also received a Taurus as part of his retirement package. Mulally lived in a company-owned house while serving as president and CEO.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV CEO Sergio Marchionne earned 31.3 million euros ($38 million based on Dec. 31 exchange rate) in 2014, according to the company's annual filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The majority of Marchionne's compensation last year came from a 24.7 million euro ($30 million) cash reward from non-executive directors as recognition for being "instrumental in major strategic and financial accomplishments for the Group," according to the Thursday filing.

General Motors Co. has not released its executive compensation yet. CEO Mary Barra could have earned as much as $14.4 million but is expected to have earned less due to the company's recall crisis impacting incentives.

Ford will hold its annual shareholders meeting on May 14 in Wilmington, Del.

 

Retiree Helmut Schurtz
Passes Away March 24, 2015

Retired July 1, 2000
32.7 Years Service

It is with great sadness that we inform you
of the passing of Retiree Helmut Schurtz.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife Rosemarie, Helmut's son Ron Schurtz who works
in the plant and to the entire Schurtz family.

Visitation

Thursday, March 26, 2015
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Dods & McNair Funeral Home & Chapel
21 First Street.
Orangeville, On

Map

Funeral Service

Friday March 27, 2015
1:00 PM

Christian Reformed Church
50 Blind Line,
Orangeville, On

Map

Memorial donations to the Canadian Cancer
Society would be appreciated by the family

Obituary for
Helmut Schurtz

Schurtz, Helmut Horst
Peacefully at Headwaters Health Care Centre on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at the age of 79. Beloved husband of Rosemarie Schurtz. Dear father of Reinhold Schurtz and his wife April and Kim Schurtz and Dragana Dobric. Cherished grandfather of Laura (Joshua), Ellisa, Michael, Polina and Daniel. Remembered by his sister Iris Rehm and his brother Kurt Schurtz. Helmut will also be greatly missed by other relatives and many friends.

Visitation will be held at the Dods & McNair Funeral Home & Chapel, 21 First Street., Orangeville on Thursday, March 26, 2015 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Funeral Service will be held at the Christian Reformed Church, 50 Blind Line, Orangeville, Ontario on Friday, March 27, 2015 at 1:00 pm .
Memorial donations to the Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated by the family.

A tree will be planted in memory of Helmut in the Dods & McNair Memorial Forest at the Island Lake Conservation Area, Orangeville. A dedication service will be held on Sunday, September 13, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. Condolences may be offered to the family at www.dodsandmcnair.com


 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations to
our newest Retiree

Gary Beckwith
Gary Beckwith

Start date: April 12, 1985 (St. Thomas)
Start date: January 6, 2014 (Bramalea)
Retired: March 1, 2015 with 30 years of service


 

Ford begins Edge production,
hires 400 New Workers

Ford takes the wraps off of the 2015 Edge Crossover at a press conference at the Ford Product Development Center in Dearborn, June 24, 2014

Michael Martinez,
The Detroit News
Feb 26, 2015

Ford Motor Co. on Thursday will announce the hiring of 400 workers at its Oakville Assembly Plant near Ontario, Canada, as it begins production of the 2015 Edge crossover.

The Dearborn automaker will offer the mid-size crossover for the first time in Europe, and it also will be sold in North and South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The 400 new hires will join more than 1,000 workers whose hiring was announced last year. Ford previously announced a $563 million investment in the plant that included the installation of more than 250 advanced robotics systems.

The 2015 version of the Edge includes a number of updates, including adaptive steering (which reduces how much the driver has to turn the steering wheel at slow speeds, making parking and other tight maneuvers easier), a 180-degree front camera with a washer, enhanced park-assist and side park sensors. It will come in three trim levels: the base SE, SEL and new Titanium series.

It will be the first to come standard with Ford's new twin-scroll turbo 2-liter Ecoboost. The Edge will also feature a Sport version that comes with a 2.7-liter V6 Ecoboost engine.

Oakville Assembly was retooled and expanded to include robots that can do everything from install hoods and panels to create glass seals on the vehicle to reduce wind noise.

The plant installed a simulation classroom to prepare the new hires and existing employees on how to manage the systems.

"The new global Edge is an excellent and timely indication that Canada's auto industry is poised to excel in coming years," Jerry Dias, national president of Unifor, said in a statement. "This new vehicle is great news for the company and its workers, and good news for all Canadians who benefit from a strong auto industry and the revenue it generates."


Made in Mexico: An emerging
auto giant powers past Canada

GREG KEENAN
PUEBLA, MEXICO
The Globe and Mail
Feb 14, 2015

The Magna plant in Puebla, Mexico, on Jan. 22, 2015.

When Salvatore Lauria started work at Autotek in Puebla, Mexico, there were only a few cars in the company parking lot. Now, 15 years later, the parking lot is full and the vehicles have spilled over on to the neighbouring soccer field.

There are more cars today because Autotek has expanded eight times since it began stamping out bumpers and radiator supports in 1991.

"We often talk about all the expansions we have done in our facility, but we often forget we have had to make four expansions in our parking lot," says Mr. Lauria, general manager of the plant, which was the first factory Magna International Inc. built in Mexico.

Autotek is a prime example of how Magna is taking advantage of a remarkable growth spurt in the auto industry in Mexico. From that single plant, the Canadian auto parts giant has grown to the point where it now operates 29 plants that employ 24,050 people, more than in any other country where Magna makes parts.

Magna is riding a tectonic shift that is transforming the global auto industry as Asian and European car companies pump billions of dollars of investment into a country perfectly positioned to supply eager North American car buyers and the future growth market of South America.

The shock waves from that shift are battering Canada, which for decades stood as a strong No. 2 behind the United States when it came to North American vehicle production, but has tumbled to No. 3 behind Mexico. One-fifth of the jobs in vehicle assembly and auto parts have vanished in Canada since 2001.

As the auto industry's centre of gravity in North America moves inexorably southward, the threat to the remaining jobs in Canada is growing, creating worries for workers and posing a problem for policy makers faced with the potential loss of thousands more jobs.

The erosion of one of the pillars of Canada's manufacturing sector and the corresponding rise of the industry in Mexico is underlined in a series of statistics, including vehicle production, investment in new assembly plants and the trade balance that now stands at $10-billion in Mexico's favour.

One trend, however, stands out.

Canada's share of vehicle production in North America fell last year to its lowest level since 1987 – 14 per cent. The figure for Mexico was 20 per cent, compared with 3 per cent in 1987.

A free-trade advantage

The automatic assumption is that auto investment is flooding into Mexico because of rock-bottom wages – and they are low. Assembly plant workers earn the equivalent of about $2.90 (U.S.) an hour, estimates Alex Covarrubias, a professor at Sonora College in Hermosillo, Mexico. That's about 10 per cent of what workers with full seniority are paid hourly at Canadian and U.S. assembly plants.

Mexico's location next door to the U.S. market and close to South America is also a major lure for Asian and European auto makers that want to keep their capital investment as low as possible by supplying both markets from a single location.

What's more, Mexico has free-trade agreements with many of these countries – 45 in total – that allow auto makers to ship duty-free.

"You can export duty-free from Mexico to big automotive markets in the world – except China of course – North America, South America, European Union, Japan," notes Thomas Karig, vice-president of corporate relations for Volkswagen de Mexico. "There's no other country in the world that has these kinds of advantages."

By contrast, Canada, as a competitor with Mexico for investments by global auto makers, does not have similar links. It is a member of the North American free-trade agreement, and has recently signed free-trade deals with Europe and South Korea.

But the assembly industry in Canada is designed to feed the massive U.S. market, not markets around the world.

Mr. Karig works out of the sprawling Volkswagen AG assembly complex in Puebla, a city of about 1.5 million people southeast of Mexico City along the highway between the capital and the Gulf of Mexico port of Veracruz. Autotek is about a half-hour drive away from the Volkswagen plant, which was the first customer for the Magna plant in 1991.

Outside the Volkswagen factory in Puebla, Mexico, on Jan. 21, 2015. (Brett Gundlock for The Globe and Mail)

Volkswagen's Puebla plant is its largest assembly plant outside of Germany, home of the legendary Beetle, and likely its only factory where assembly lines are decorated with several shrines to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Three assembly lines pumped out 475,121 Beetle, Golf and Jetta models last year.

About 80 per cent of the vehicles are exported. Beetles travel from Puebla to 100 countries, and all three vehicle models travel north by rail and ship to U.S. and Canadian markets, and by ship to Asia, Europe and South America from ports on both Atlantic and Pacific coasts that are ice-free year-round.

"Trains, roads, ports; everything is very well set up for the market," says Airton Cousseau, managing director of Nissan Mexicana. Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. operates plants in Cuernavaca, south of Mexico City, and in Aguascalientes, north of the capital, where it has two assembly plants already operating and a third under construction.

Volkswagen opened the Puebla plant southeast of Mexico City in 1964, so it's hardly a new kid on the block. The auto maker has spent $4-billion (U.S.) in the past 10 years retooling and expanding that factory as well as building and adding to a new engine plant in the central city of Silao.

The Germany-based company is also part of the massive $8-billion wave of investment announced since 2011. That spending backs the construction of seven new assembly plants that is expected to lead to production of five million vehicles annually by the end of the decade, up from the record 3.2 million that rolled off assembly lines last year.

As all that money floods into Mexico, one assembly plant closed in Canada and another is scheduled to shut down in 2016.

The new investments, including those by Volkswagen's Audi AG luxury unit, BMW AG and a Nissan-Daimler AG joint venture to assemble Mercedes-Benz vehicles, will boost Mexico as a maker of luxury vehicles, not just the subcompact and compact cars that for decades dominated the country's auto output.

The $1.3-billion Audi plant is rising in San Jose Chiapa, a town of about 4,000 people and a one-hour drive from Puebla.

Audi is an example of how economy of scale is another factor working in Mexico's favour, notably the formidable auto parts supply base that has sprung up because of earlier waves of investment.

"They decide to build a plant not too far from Volkswagen to take advantage of the synergies we can create, the support we can provide them for a startup," Mr. Karig says. "They come to Mexico because there are a lot of suppliers that already supply Volkswagen that can easily also supply them in the future."

Assembly plant investments since 2011

Assembly plant investments since 2011

A Mexican welcome mat

That list of suppliers includes Autotek, from which trucks carrying door beams, instrument panel beams and other stamped parts depart every two hours for the short journey up the highway to Volkswagen.

In one section of the Autotek factory, robots still wrapped in plastic covering sit awaiting installation on a new assembly line that will make cross members for an Audi luxury crossover.

From that original contract with Volkswagen, Autotek has broadened its customer base so that it now supplies a long list of major auto makers that make vehicles in Mexico.

Ben Marshall, assistant general manager of Autotek, points to the free-trade agreements as a key element that has propelled the division's growth.

"Not to mention your biggest market is next door – being the U.S. – but you have more opportunities globally out of Mexico," Mr. Marshall says. "We ship to Russia, we ship to Brazil, U.S., Thailand, India, Venezuela."

Autotek now employs 1,150 people. Another 350 employees will be added this year in Puebla and a satellite plant that supplies Ford Motor Co.

Several Japan-based suppliers have located in the central state of Aguascalientes because of Nissan's construction of two assembly plants in the city of the same name, says Rodolfo Esau Garza de Vega, the state government's Secretary of Economic Development.

Auto industry jobs have helped strengthen the middle class so that 75 per cent of families in the state own their homes and university enrolment is among the highest in the region, Mr. Garza de Vega says.

"A manufacturing-based economy is certainly stronger than one based on tourism or commerce," he adds.

For Magna, which is now the fourth-largest private sector employer in Mexico, the equation is simple.

"Our investment is predominantly tied to where the auto makers go," says Scott Paradise, Magna's vice-president of marketing and business development for the Americas.

"If you can attract the auto makers, you're going to attract us and every other supplier."

Mr. Paradise has found the Mexican government eager to attract new investment and eliminate hurdles and red tape quickly.

"When you go and say, 'Hey, I want to put a plant in a particular area in Mexico,' they're way more welcoming than either Canada or the U.S.," he says. "That doesn't mean there's no interest in the states or in Canada, it's that [Mexico] wants the jobs."

Mr. Cousseau of Nissan has had a similar experience in Mexico with governments seeking to eliminate barriers.

The approvals for Nissan's second plant in Aguascalientes were made so quickly that it went up in 19 months, a record for Nissan's global operations.

Typically, approval and construction of assembly plants in Ontario and in U.S. states takes 30 months to three years.

Nissan produced 806,000 vehicles in Mexico last year and is planning to crank out 1.1 million annually in Aguascalientes by 2020 from three factories.

Financial incentives

The willingness to encourage investment applies to more than just the auto industry.

The process of gaining approvals to build a pipeline in Mexico compared with the Canadian regulatory system is like "night and day," says TransCanada Corp. chief executive officer Russ Girling.

Mexico also offers substantial financial incentives to both auto makers and parts suppliers.

When Chrysler Group LLC proposed a $550-million retooling of its plant in Toluca in 2010, Mexico provided $400-million in financial incentives.

In Canada, the federal and Ontario governments typically contribute about 20 per cent of project costs, with Ottawa offering repayable loans and Ontario giving grants.

Mexico's offer of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of incentives helped convince Ford earlier this year to invest in that country instead of Windsor, Ont., for a new generation of small engines.

Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of the Americas, won't reveal the specific reasons for that decision.

He notes, however, that a decade ago Mexico was offering higher financial incentives than it is today to make up for disadvantages in other areas.

Now, other advantages such as the trade agreements and the ability to ship vehicles year-round from ports have become more important.

Mexico's location in the middle of the hemisphere is an advantage that cannot be matched.

"In some cases you have to respond to your competition," Mr. Hinrichs says. "If you have disadvantages, then there has to be some compensation [in other areas] to help offset that."

Federal Industry Minister James Moore points to Canada's low-tax environment, skilled work force and government programs such as the federal Automotive Innovation Fund and Ontario's grant programs as reasons for auto makers to invest here.

But the money that Mexico offered to Ford to land the engine plant "was something we can't compete with and wouldn't compete with, but over all we're continuing to go in the right direction," he says.

That's true to a degree, as recent investment announcements in existing Canadian plants attest. Honda Motor Co. Ltd., for example, will spend $857-million in Alliston, Ont., to build a redesigned Civic model with the Ontario government kicking in $87-million.

General Motors Co. said this week that it will spend $560-million along with suppliers to assemble the next generation Chevrolet Equinox at its plant in Ingersoll, Ont.

But when it comes to new assembly plants, which lead to thousands of supplier jobs as well, the score is 7-0 in Mexico's favour since 2011. Those assembly plants have also led to investments by auto makers in engine and transmission factories.

A Canadian industry group is urging the federal and Ontario governments to create an Automotive Investment Board, modelled in part on the Mexican government's ProMexico investment arm, but Mr. Moore has expressed skepticism that the establishment of such an agency would change the equation.

Auto makers are well aware of what programs are available from various governments, he says.

"Never once did they say the reason we didn't invest in Canada is because we didn't have a single point-of-entry person who could explain to us all the dynamics," he says.

Workers in the Golf vehicle section of the Volkswagen factory in Puebla, Mexico, on Jan. 21, 2015. (Brett Gundlock for The Globe and Mail)

Work force quality

Industry executives in Mexico laud the quality of the workers.

The combination of that quality, the wages and productivity put Mexico in the forefront of places to build vehicles, says Nissan's Mr. Cousseau.

"If you mix all three of these items today, Mexico is more competitive than China," he says.

The fact that three luxury auto makers have chosen to locate in Mexico underscores how far the work force has come.

"Years ago, when the industry first started to grow in Mexico, there was a belief that the cost of labour was less but the quality wasn't good," observes Mr. Marshall of Autotek.

"I don't believe that is true. The quality of the labour down here is phenomenal."

The wages for assembly-line workers at Volkswagen's Puebla plant are the equivalent of $3.77 an hour, data compiled by Prof. Covarrubias show. That's higher than the average across all assembly plants in Mexico and trails only Nissan's Cuernavaca plant.

It's also higher than many service sector jobs, as Felipe Coyotecatl Toxqui found when he left his job at a government training centre in Puebla to work for Volkswagen 18 years ago.

The 49-year-old is now a production co-ordinator in the body shop where Beetles are put together.

"I have the opportunity to give my children a better education," he says. He was able to send all three of his children to private school and his oldest son is now a doctor in Mexico City.

Felipe Coyotecatl Toxqui, right, a worker at the Volkswagen factory in Puebla, Mexico, eats on his lunch break on Jan. 21, 2015. (Brett Gundlock for The Globe and Mail)

But that experience is far from universal, Prof. Covarrubias says, particularly for those workers at plants that are not as old as Volkswagen's Puebla facility.

Assembly line worker wages have fallen across the industry since 2007, he notes, even though productivity has improved.

A job with full seniority in the auto sector paying wages of more than $30 an hour with a defined benefit pension plan and other benefits has been a ticket to the middle class in Canada and the United States.

Despite all the growth, the rising tide of auto investment in Mexico is not lifting all boats.

"To get a job in the auto sector [in Mexico] is just half a ticket," he says. "The other point is that in order for you [to advance] into the middle class, you are going to take longer."

The lag between surging production and the benefits of that growth flowing to workers is evident in sales statistics.

Measured by vehicles per driving-age population, the Mexican market is still underdeveloped.

There are just 20 vehicles on the road in Mexico for every 100 drivers, compared with 80 in Canada.

It's another sign that Mexico has much more room to grow.


Retiree Bill Ingles Passes
away January 31, 2015

Bill Ingles

Bill Ingles
Retired October 1, 1995
27.8 Years of Service

It is with deepest regrets that we inform
you of the passing of Retiree
Bill Ingles who passed away
Saturday January 31, 2015.

Our Deepest Condolences go out
to his wife
and family on behalf
of all the retirees.
Bill will be sadly missed by all.

Visitation
Mackinnon Funeral Home

 55 Mill Street East, Acton
Tuesday February 3, 2015,
2:00 to 4:00 pm and 7:00 to 9:00 pm

Map

Funeral
Knox Presbyterian Church
116 Main Street South
Georgetown

Wednesday February 4, 2015
11:00 am

Map

INGLES: William "Bill" Charles
May 22, 1934 – January 31, 2015

After a valiant and extended battle with cancer, Bill peacefully passed on January 31, 2015 at the Georgetown Hospital in his 81st year. Loving husband of Ann for 55 years and dear father of Ron (Charmaine) and Scott (Jayne). Proud "Grandpa" of Jeff (Mallory), Ben (Michelle), Caitlin (Justin), Chad (Laura) and Travis. Great grandfather of Nathan and Owen. Bill will be fondly remembered by his extended family and large network of friends. The family would like to extend a "thank you" to all the staff at the Georgetown Hospital for their care and compassion.

The family will receive friends at MacKinnon Family Funeral Home, 55 Mill Street East, Acton on Tuesday, February 3rd from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Friends are invited to meet the family at Knox Presbyterian Church, 116 Main Street South, Georgetown on Wednesday Febuary 4th at 11 a.m. Cremation will follow. Remembrances to C.A.S of H.H. would be appreciated.

 

More Info