Ken Lewenza: Wake up and smell the vapour

Time may be running out fast at Chrysler Canada:

Chrysler already working to pull out of Canada
Sources familiar with Chrysler’s plans say the automaker has already begun work behind the scenes to pull its operations out of Canada if it can’t reach an agreement with the Canadian Auto Workers by the end of the month.
Chrysler Canada has said it needs to cut its labour costs by approximately $20 an hour to be competitive with foreign automakers such as Toyota.
Currently, the company estimates its all-in hourly labour costs — which include wages, benefits and legacy costs such as pensions — to be approximately $76. To be competitive with Toyota plants operating in Canada, it says it needs to reduce those costs to $57 an hour.
Chrysler president Tom LaSorda told a parliamentary committee last week that the company may not be able to continue operating in Canada if it can’t reduce its labour costs enough to be competitive.
A source familiar with Chrysler’s labour objectives said the company has already started considering “alternative locations with more competitive cost structures” for its Canadian operations, which include employ about 10,000 hourly workers [3,000 more than GM Canada soon] at assembly plants in Brampton, Ont., and Windsor, Ont., and a casting plant in Toronto.
CAW president Ken Lewenza has said there is no way the union will give more to Chrysler than it gave to General Motors Canada in negotiations earlier this month.
Chrysler estimates the agreement with GM, which was ratified by CAW members last week, cuts that company’s labour costs by approximately $7 an hour — an amount LaSorda characterized as “unacceptable.”
The source said Chrysler Canada believes it can achieve its cost reduction goals without cutting base wages. Instead, the company will look at cutting benefits such as paid time off, unemployment assistance and overtime premiums…

Mark C.
Update: TODAY’S IDIOCY from Norman Spector:

Harper now is part of the problem (Walkom)
…the most sensible response from Ottawa and Queen’s Park might be to effectively nationalize Chrysler’s Canadian plants as the price for aid. Then they could use these plants to develop a truly modern, green automobile.
No, I don’t have a detailed plan. But I do know – business mythology notwithstanding – that Canada has used crown corporations creatively in the past…

British Leyland, anyone? Or, closer to home, how about that crown corporation, AECL? While south of the border:

What’s Good for General Motors . . . Would Be a Miracle

Like, er, nationalization?

6 thoughts on “Ken Lewenza: Wake up and smell the vapour

  1. Brian says:

    Normal Spector is a total idiot …. nationalize Chrysler … uh … Chrysler is a US based company and perhaps the US might object just a wee bit !
    Spector’s article is typical of the MSM trying to link blame Harper.
    Has everyone ESPECIALLY the MSM somehow forgotten that last week Ford said the same thing as Chrysler … Ford also wants $20/hour cost reduction to be able to operate in Canada !!!

  2. Dara says:

    It’s funny that Spector’s previous idiocy is this:
    “Newspaper owners should raise the price of a single copy to a minimum of $2 and use that extra money to do the journalism that ensures it’s worth $2. A major daily newspaper is a premium product. It should be priced accordingly, but the extra cost has to be justified by increased value to readers.”
    While the Globe and Mail link posted wants me to pay $5 to read an article. It also offers the bargain of 4 articles for $18.
    If Chrysler or any of the rest do end up moving out of Canada, I would like to see their plants and equipment seized until we get every bit of money that we put into them back.
    As far as nationalized car companies… anyone driven a Volkswagen lately? The original intent was very much the same as Walkom laid out although the actors were a bit more questionable.

  3. frank says:

    Every concesion workers make are echoed by Bonuses to upper management. If Lasorda wants to cut costs how about the 9 million bonus he got last year? How about he throws away his big paycheck, for the good of the company, and make, say, twice as much as an auto worker on the floor.
    Now, lets do the same with all upper management at chrysler, since they’ve done such a great job leading us down this path. Sell all the jets, have only one V.P. Gut all the freeloaders and their patronage appointments and their executive secreteries out. and there, problem solved. Remember how Mr Eaton got 150 million to sell to Daimler 150,000,000.00 This crap has to stop!

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