One Year Anniversary of Commitment to Support Auto Industry

December 18, 2009, 12:45 PM EST

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CAW President Ken Lewenza is commending the federal and provincial government for taking dramatic action one year ago to support the domestic auto industry, which at the height of the financial crisis was on the verge of collapse.

In a joint press conference on December 20, 2008, the Ontario and federal government pledged, along with the U.S. government, to inject the necessary funds into both Chrysler and General Motors to keep the companies afloat and save tens of thousands of jobs. 

Lewenza said that although this year has been a difficult one for the auto industry, without government support, the industry would now be in ruins, including the immediate loss of thousands of jobs.

 "The loss of North American producers would have had a devastating ripple effect right across the economy, making it that much more difficult to pull out of the recession as tens of thousands of jobs would be eliminated in communities across the country."

"Although supporting the auto industry came at a seemingly high expense, the cost of doing nothing would have been much greater. Workers in these value-added jobs make important contributions to our communities - in the form of taxes which go towards the strong public services upon which all Canadians rely and value.

The CAW represents approximately 8,000 Chrysler workers, 12,000 General Motors workers, including at CAMI in Ingersoll and 25,000 independent parts supplier workers.

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