Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Auto-Sector collapse: McGuinty's worst nightmare

Well, I never thought it would be possible for the CAW to find someone worse than Buzz Hardgrove to head up their union. Well folks, I must confess... I was wrong.

Ken Lewenza has, from Day One on the job, proven again and again that he really doesn't have a CLUE how the real world works. With this economic crisis impacting us on every side, he dug in his heels right away and has refused to consider the prospect of concessions from his union membership. At a time when tens of thousands of people are losing their jobs, there are plenty of folks in our country who'd GLADLY take a job at HALF the value of the current benefit package the CAW's membership are getting.

But there's an interesting political side effect going on that no one has really addressed yet. With the CAW digging in their heels, anyone from the political realm who doesn't support their perspective is starting to feel their wrath. And one individual who's starting to feel the heat is our very own Premier, Dalton McGuinty. From CTV the other day...
"CAW 'furious' at Ontario over pensions, Lewenza says"

"I can't even suggest to you how furious we are as an organization to suggest that our retirees won't be treated with decency and respect during this crisis. What good is a pension guarantee fund if it's not there when you need it?"

The comments follow those of Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, who on Wednesday warned that his government's pension guarantee fund is too small to help out retired autoworkers in the event one of the Detroit Three goes under.
Lewenza said the union will hold a "massive" protest at the Ontario legislature next week in response to McGuinty's comments that Ontario's pension-guarantee fund is not enough to cover pensions.

The protest will be held on April 23 on the grounds of the legislature. Lewenza urged all retirees to come out and show their support.
A massive union protest at Queen's Park? When was the last time we saw one of those? Oh, that's right... it was sometime before the current Liberal government was voted into office.

This Liberal government was voted into power largely, though not exclusively, by organized labour. The Liberals spent a lot of time and effort courting their votes during the Harris era, stealing their support from the NDP, and winning support from many of the union membership who had quietly supported the Tories.

So now, perhaps you can see why this current situation is an absolute nightmare for Premier Dalton McGuinty. The union vote that they've spent so much time and energy courting is now seeking to cash in their chips, expecting the Liberals to get their back, at a time when the Provincial bank is broke. So naturally, the CAW is furious, as Ken Lewenza himself has said in that CTV article. I mean, let's face it... you don't see massive union protests at Queen's Park when everything is peachy keen, do you?

In case you've forgotten, the unions provided the Ontario Liberals with an unofficial "fifth column" during the 2007 election. To lose them would be a potentially devastating blow to Mr. McGuinty's 2011 bid for re-election.

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  • At Mon. Apr. 13, 10:46:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Donna said…

    Great post! I cannot believe the gall of these unions, especially in these unprecedented global economic times. You are right, most of us would give our eye teeth to have jobs with 1/2 the pay these guys get.

    And on April 23rd, apparently they plan to anger innocent motorists when they stage a protest on the streets of Toronto. I am so sure this will get lots of sympathy from rush hour commuters!

    Lets lobby to reverse the outdated "Rand Formula" from 1945, and allow workers to have the freedom of choice not to have their hard-earned wages go to these thuggish unions, and also allow business owners and taxpayers to sue unions for the damage their strikes cause (like the transit strike in Ottawa for eg) This would be better than all these corporate bailouts for the economy!

  • At Mon. Apr. 13, 11:26:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Lets go back a few years to see how this Perfect Failure was constructed.

    Federal and Provincial Liberals encouraged Non-Union Auto Plants run by Foreign Corporation to build here and employ Canadians, but,these Companies don't allow Canadian cars imported to their Nation of origin .
    Next we see Ontario allow Magna to use Non-Union workers to make parts for the non-Unionized Foreign Plants that under-cut the CAW costs for the big-3. The provincial Liberals come to power with an Election promise to NOT raise taxes ....they then raise taxes via the health care tax that generated about $1.2 billion dollars , BUT....GM and FORD feel their first punch in the Auto slow-down as more good jobs leaves Ontario and leave low paying retail jobs behind that can't support buying a high-end domestic cars or a basic sedan at about $28'000.00 .
    Ontario then takes about $400 million of the Health tax and gives it to GM in Oshawa and to the FORD plant in Oakville to prop up jobs to appease the CAW voters and spin-off job voters .
    FORD kills the WindStar in canada and then GM axes the Oshawa truck Plant promise to not cut jobs,then we saw Paul Martin share the stage with Buzz Hardgrove while at the same time Belinda from Magna was bought by the Liberals to cross the floor to keep Martin in power until the 2006Election.
    Today we see that Buzz,Martin,Belinda,Chretien,and others tied to the mess have all gone off into the sunset and left us Taxpayers with the bill.
    I never thought that the head of the CAW would embrace the Liberals that had a MP that was part of the Magna empire that helped to kill CAW jobs.

    Lew just doesn't get it , the CAW was a giant Pyramid scam where the first ones in pay a kick-back for the access to the job and then climb the financial ladder for benefits and Security with the Seniority.
    The Pyramid needs more and more support workers at the base to provide the Money for the upper tip of the Pyramid as people retire and draw from the money pool .
    BUT, the scam depends on growing car sales and a growing population with high-income jobs to buy the products being sold.
    While the Public Sector unions have the Taxpayers to milk dry with jobs-4-Life and endless raises and benefits , the private Union like the CAW and UAW don't have the luxury other than the odd bail-Out which has worn thin with us taxpayers.

    So now we see that the Inverted-Pyramid starting to collapse on the people that were some of the last ones into the scam who must support around 4 people that got in first and now draw from the pool.
    The taxpayers can not be held responsible for grown adults that blindly accepted hollow promises
    for high paying jobs with benefits and a generous pension as if the Ponze-scheme/Pyramid-scam would never end .

    Sorry Lew, Buzz is laughing his head off and enjoying his Double-dipping pension to screw us Taxpayers even more via the CPP while collecting the CAW pension.
    The average canadian is trying to eke out their life and it includes paying roughly 50% in taxes from their salary to help fund the Health care for the CAW which means more money in the Auto workers pocket when the Strke Threats come around.
    If you wanted us to bail you out in the bad-times, then why have you never once offered to pay us back during the good-times instead of the Entitlement mind set we see where you Demand even more money as if it's your profits.
    Why not offer to buy GM or Chrysler in canada and keep all the profits and set your own wages.

    back to you lew??????

  • At Tue. Apr. 14, 09:12:00 a.m. EDT, Blogger BillM said…

    You are so right Donna. It is time for 'Right to Work' legislation in Canada/Ontario. Anyone should be able to apply and compete for any posted job opening! The negotiation can be between the applicant and the employer. If the union actually provides attractive services they should have no problem recruiting these workers.
    This MUST also/especially apply to all public sector jobs.

    Also, Defined Benefit pensions must be outlawed. They cannot be insured except by theft!.

  • At Tue. Apr. 14, 09:34:00 a.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Its time for the CAW members to realize that they have to take a $20/hr cut in their wages if they expect to hang onto their jobs and pensions.

    It was these greedy, lazy, overpayed union workers who caused the problems in the first place.

    McGuinty must not bailout these auto companies as he continues to create the Socialist Republic of Ontario.


  • At Tue. Apr. 14, 10:06:00 a.m. EDT, Blogger Luke Coughey said…

    I don't see why a bail out is even being considered. Any investor knows that the risk is too high and the pay back is next to nothing. If the unions and these companies want to survive, they can work it out amongst themselves.

    If the government wants to help, invest the "bail out" money into successful car makers (ie, Toyota & Honda) in exchange for a commitment that they will open up jobs for those who have been let go by the not-so-big three.

    It is just like the Air Canada problems. Don't put money into a failing airline, invest in West Jet and be a part of their success.

  • At Tue. Apr. 14, 11:26:00 a.m. EDT, Blogger Don't Tase Me, Bro! said…

    I remember door knocking during the provincial election, and I came to one door where this guy said he'll vote Liberal. I thought that was good, until he said he was a firefighter and that the firefighters' union was supporting the Liberals, but he didn't look very happy in saying it. I just left it at that since he made up his mind already, whoopee.

    I never really understood the whole organized labour arrangement with political parties. Any logical person would think that just because the leadership endorses a party, it doesn't mean the membership will follow suit.

    And yes, I agree with the Premier's statement and not the reaction of the CAW president. Any other logical person can tell you that a pension fund of $100 million is not going to cover the pensions of workers or retired workers, some dating back to, when, 20 years ago?

    Everyone is being expected to tighten the belt. My office is on a friggin hiring freeze and salary increases are frozen also. I know these retirees worked their asses off, but I'm sorry, because once the pension fund runs dry, there won't be any money anyway.

  • At Tue. Apr. 14, 04:47:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Donna said…

    I agree BillM!

    What we need is a Federal "Right to Work" legislation. When you look at the state of our economy, with so many people desperate for work, these selfish unions still insist on playing protectionist and monopolistic games. Take the policy of "internal postings".

    here in one example:
    "..if no qualified applicants are found within the bargaining unit, all other staff applicants are eligible for consideration. If there are no suitable applicants within the University, then positions are advertised externally."
    sourceor this example:
    "We therefore particularly encourage applications from qualified aboriginal Canadians, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities and women."
    sourceThey are more interested in playing group identity politics than actually helping Canadians gain employment. Unions are the biggest barrier for the average job-seeking Canadian seeking gainful employment.


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