Canada: Car part workers down tools

A wildcat strike has broken out in Canada as workers at AGS Automotive plant walked out in a dispute over pay and work rate.

Submitted by libcom on May 24, 2006

AutoServiceWorld reported today that workers at AGS Parts Plant walked off the job in an unauthorised wildcat strike, which, according to CAW head Buzz Hargrove, could lead to grave consequences.

Calling the event a "powder keg", the union chief said that the sudden work stoppage could sink the company, cripple GM, and cost hundreds of jobs.
In response to the surprising move, GM has said that it will no hesitate to remove key dies from the Oshawa plant, should the matter not be resolved within a few days.

Currently, there are approximately two days of bumper parts stockpiled at one Canadian and four U.S. truck assembly plants, but GM is said to be determined not to allow any significant back-log in vehicle production.

However, as was intimated by Hargrove, a tough-line from GM could mean more than trouble for just AGS workers.

According to union officials, the major issues in the strike revolve around wages and production numbers, after the plant offered a three year deal with no immediate raise.

GM has also been unable or unwilling to guarantee parts orders in the style of their Truck Bumper Program.

Due to the timing of the strike, coming before the pre-authorised strike deadline, AGS workers are not eligible for union strike-pay, and were not paid for the Victoria Day Holiday.

Furthermore, in light of the strike, the possibility of renewed contract negotiations appears to be in jeopardy.