This is one of the things that bugs the hell out of me. A multi-national corporation expects the government to use tax payers money to bail them out of poor business stratedgy and refusing to change to meet market demands.

What's worse is that they hold jobs out as a stick to beat politicians with should they refuse to pad their profit margine.

Nov 02, 2007

Canada's auto industry faces a lot more job losses beyond the latest hit at Chrysler Canada Inc. unless Ottawa intervenes immediately, union and business leaders say.

They called on the federal government to provide quick financial assistance, to lower interest rates and to insist on fairer international trade after Chrysler announced the layoff of more than 1,100 people at its Brampton assembly plant.

"Tax breaks won't help unless we make money," said Gerald Fedchun, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association about the government's mini-budget this week."The way it's going, a lot of our companies won't be around. Our situation is extremely serious now.
"We're like farmers in a serious drought. The government provides aid and the farmers pay it back eventually. What we need now is short-term assistance."
Earlier in the day, Chrysler announced the elimination of five shifts, four models and more than 8,500 production jobs at its North American operations because of falling demand. Among the moves, Chrysler will cancel production of the Magnum and Pacifica wagons in Brampton and Windsor, respectively.
The 1,100 Brampton layoffs will probably start in February. Workers with up to 10 years of service could lose their jobs.

The loss of the Pacifica will affect at least 200 jobs in Windsor later this month, but it won't result in a loss of a third shift because the plant has just launched a new generation of minivan and will start producing a model for Volkswagen next year.

Chrysler's move follows announcements of shift cuts at Ford in St. Thomas, Ont., and General Motors in Oshawa, with the corresponding loss of thousands of jobs in assembly and regional parts operations.

Jay Myers, president of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, said the industry needs at least a short-term strategic investment and the Bank of Canada must lower interest rates to harness the soaring dollar, which is making exports increasingly uncompetitive.

Buzz Hargrove, president of the Canadian Auto Workers, said more operations will be in jeopardy soon with a much bigger impact on the struggling parts sector.

"If we don't do something, this will only continue," Hargrove said. "This is horrible. The industry is already on its knees. This could very well push some of them over the edge."

Statistics from the Ontario Ministry of Labour show a leap this year in the number of terminations of collective bargaining agreements – an indication of plant closings.

In 2005 there were 37 agreement terminations, and 32 in 2006. But the number jumped to a startling 125 in the first three months of this year and another 136 in the second quarter, according to the ministry's figures.
Local union officials expressed shock at Chrysler's decision because they believed the loss of the Magnum would be offset by recent changes in their contract to reduce costs, by the introduction of the Challenger sports car next year, and by eventual movement of Chrysler 300 production from Austria to Brampton.

"This is devastating," said Leon Rideout, vice-president of Local 1285 in Brampton.

Hundreds of workers who have started families and bought houses will be experiencing their second layoff in six years.

The company cut a third shift in 2001 but reintroduced it in 2005 when the Chrysler 300 turned into a smash hit.

Hargrove told reporters the federal government must immediately end its free-trade talks with Korea, lower interest rates and restrict offshore auto imports.

Hargrove said Canada is allowing auto imports but offshore countries, including Japan and Korea, are not offering the same access.
"We have to put an end to the devastation that the imports are causing," Hargrove said.

He added that lowering interest rates would reduce the value of Canada's soaring dollar and make exports more competitive.

Many Canadian parts makers export most of their output to the United States.