Apr 30, 2008

Send Our Money - Save the C.A.W.

Chris Buckley, president of Canadian Auto Workers, Local 222 wants "our Canadian government to get up off their asses and start to give some attention to our declining auto industry". Great idea. And how does he propose that the Canadian government do this?

Well, Mr. Buckley wants the government to control "rising fuel costs, a higher dollar, and "unfair" trade practices that allow foreign-made cars into Canada, while permitting very few into Asian markets". And, unspoken of course, to spend more of your and my money to subsidize a poorly-managed North American auto industry and its well-paid, unyielding auto workers.

The federal government can not control oil prices any more than it can control the petulant and greedy outburst of an ignorant (or purposefully deceptive) local union leader. Nor can it control, in other than a minor manner, the exchange rate of the Canadian dollar. This isn't China or Cuba or any other of the dictatorship-driven economies of the world.

And to suggest that Asian countries and consumers are erecting trade barriers rather than rejecting shoddily created and gas-guzzling C.A.W. manufactured cars is a bit rich, even for a self-centred individual such as Mr. Buckley.

The C.A.W. is doing its regular play-acting, ignoring the fact that there's a contraction in consumer spending in North American because of the recession, that people are shedding the gas-guzzling pickup trucks that Mr. Buckley's members make. Of course, Mr. Buckley doesn't mention that.

It wouldn't help his cause which is, pure and simple (disregarding the high dollar, trade barrier, etc., crap) all about money ... more of yours and mine to spend suporting high wages, early retirements, generous sick leave and other "rights and entitlements" of C.A.W. workers.

Mr. Buckley, it's time to look inside your own house and clean it up. When you have done that, then hold another press conference and let us know what you and your members have done to fully mitigate the uncompetitiveness of your wages and benefits against a well run competition.

After all, isn't there a monumental hole in your logic when off-shore companies are BUILDING new plants and capacity in Ontario, at a time when your workers are supposedly "suffering"? How about getting off YOUR ass, Buckley? People are buying more and more of the competition's cars. The Big Three have continually lost market share over the past two decades, and continue to do so, because they make crappy cars that no one wants. Stick that in your ear, Buckley!

You all enjoyed the good life and ever-increasing wages when times were bountiful and demand high because competition was negligible. We have no intent to support this acquired lifestyle when times are bad. Make your sacrifices, then we can talk. In fact, why not work partner-wise with the auto companies to make products which consumers want? That new high powered and gas-guzzling Mustang car is just what people want right now, eh?

Stop whining and shut up. Make the changes that are really needed. And don't you and Buzz dare come back for another hand out until you do.

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