CAW Applauds U.S. Aid, but Raises Concerns over Possible Attack on Workers

December 19, 2008, 12:00 PM EST

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The CAW is applauding the December 19 decision by U.S. President George Bush to provide $17.4 billion in assistance to North American automakers General Motors and Chrysler.

"Canada as a nation could not save the Detroit Three automakers on its own, so this aid from the U.S. is critical to the survival of the companies and the hundreds of thousands of jobs they provide," said CAW President Ken Lewenza.

Lewenza voiced concern though that workers may be unfairly targeted by the conditions placed on the U.S. aid package for General Motors and Chrysler.

"The over-emphasis on workers' compensation has only succeeded in clouding the more pressing structural issue of unfair trade both in Canada and the U.S. which has eroded the domestic auto industry to its current dire state," said Lewenza.

While this aid was desperately needed to keep the automakers afloat, if the companies are to stay in business, politicians on both sides of the border must turn their attention to what can be done to create a level playing field for domestic automakers as governments around the world already do, Lewenza said.

Lewenza emphasized that the union will continue to meet with both the Ontario provincial and federal government in order to develop a comprehensive plan here in Canada.

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