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Veteran CAW organizer says union principles violated by Magna deal
Nov 03, 2007 04:30 AM

Business Reporter

A top official of the Canadian Auto Workers has become the first senior national representative to publicly oppose the union's support for a controversial deal with Magna International Inc. that takes away the right to strike.

Mike Shields, a former CAW national director of organizing who currently serves more than two dozen bargaining units, confirmed yesterday he is against the union's "Framework of Fairness" agreement with Magna.

Shields, a former president of giant Local 222 at General Motors in Oshawa, said the agreement violates union principles, gives the company clout in selection of key worker-advocates and hurts members at other auto-parts makers.

"I'm very concerned at the direction this agreement is taking our union and the effect it could have on the labour movement," he added in an interview. "I couldn't stand idly by any more without expressing how I sincerely feel about this."

Under the agreement with Magna, workers would not have the right to strike but the company could not lock them out. The two sides would settle disputes through binding arbitration.

Aurora-based Magna, the country's biggest independent auto-parts maker, will allow voluntary union recognition at up to 45 plants which employ 18,000 workers as part of the deal. Workers at each plant will vote on a tentative first contract which will decide whether they want union representation.

Only three of Magna's plants in Canada are unionized, despite CAW organizing efforts during the last two decades.

The 49-year-old Shields, who voluntarily moved from CAW director of international affairs to a staff representative posting recently, said he will speak out against the Magna agreement at the union's national council meeting early next month. The council of more than 800 delegates will vote on whether the union should proceed with the agreement.

Local 222, one of the CAW's largest units, voted unanimously at a membership meeting this week to oppose the Magna deal after a recommendation from its board and president Chris Buckley.

Other pockets of opposition to the deal have surfaced in the union. But it's unclear whether that opposition is enough to mount a significant challenge at the meeting.

The union's national board voted 16-1 in favour of the CAW-Magna deal earlier in the week. Buckley was the lone dissenter.

CAW president Buzz Hargrove said area directors and assistants are almost unanimous in support of the deal, and he expects solid backing at the meeting after consulting leaders throughout the union.

He has described the deal as an innovative approach in labour relations that avoids the animosity of an organizing drive and, instead, attempts to build stronger companies where all stakeholders gain.

Dissidents call it a "dues grab" and a "betrayal" of union principles. Elimination of the right to strike gives Magna an unfair advantage against other plants and weakens bargaining power, they say.


`No-strike' clause goes against the fundamental right of unionized workers, says Oshawa's Buckley
Oct 29, 2007 04:30 AM

Business Reporter

A crack has appeared in the wall of support among the leadership of the Canadian Auto Workers for a controversial deal with Magna International Inc. that would eliminate the right to strike.

Chris Buckley, president of CAW Local 222 in Oshawa, is opposing the historic deal that would make it easier for the union to organize Magna plants in exchange for giving up the employees' right to strike.

"I am writing to you, in as forceful terms as I am able, to let you know that I cannot in good conscience support the national union's agreement with Magna International," Buckley said in an open letter to CAW president Buzz Hargrove late last week. "Buzz, a `no-strike' clause goes against the fundamental right of unionized workers."

Buckley's position is the first sign of open dissent within the union's top leadership over the agreement with Magna, which currently has only a small union presence. He will seek support from his executive board and membership later this week.

Opposition by Local 222 could trigger further dissent in the CAW and carry weight when more than 800 union delegates vote on the Magna agreement at a national council meeting in December.

That's because Local 222 is the largest single unit in the CAW with 23,000 members at General Motors and regional auto parts plants.

Hargrove said yesterday he had received unanimous support from the CAW's top leaders at the Big Three auto manufacturers and parts operations earlier this month and still expects approval by the national council.

"I anticipate there will be good solid support," Hargrove said.

Buckley, who could not be reached for comment, had originally supported the Magna deal but reversed his position after hearing from workers on the shop floor and other leaders in the local, according to union sources.

In reply to a question, Hargrove also confirmed Buckley had changed his mind.

"I'm more troubled than disappointed," Hargrove said. "In all my years as head of the CAW, this has never happened to me where a major leader in the union has done this."

Hargrove said he would not attend the two Local 222 meetings to debate the Magna deal because he does not want to interfere in its decisions.

Under the "Framework of Fairness" agreement with Magna, workers would not have to right to strike but management could not lock them out. The two sides would settle disputes through binding arbitration.

Aurora-based Magna, the country's biggest independent auto parts maker, will allow voluntary union recognition at up to 45 plants employing 18,000 workers. Workers at each plant will vote on a tentative first contract that will decide whether they want union representation.

Supporters of the "Framework of Fairness" deal say Magna workers, who vote for the union and pay dues, will benefit because of better protection and the ability to win future contract improvements.

Critics of the deal say the loss of the right to strike takes away a fundamental historic right from employees in exerting pressure on management for change and gains in wages and benefits.

They also say the selection of worker representatives with management input and other provisions in the agreement undermine the union, weaken other locals in the auto parts sector and could seriously hurt the labour movement.

Buckley said in his letter the agreement will pose obvious threats to other CAW members in the parts sector who compete against Magna.

"The process of awarding contracts for product is in a cut-throat state already," he added. "Suppliers employing my members completely lose any playing field if the right to strike becomes a factor in the competition's favour."

Buckley also noted the deal has long-term negative implications for unions in Canada.

"Without the ability to legally withdraw our labour, there is little left by way of leverage for the working class in Canada," he said in the letter.

"Our principles also state: `In our society, private corporations control the workplace and set the framework for all employees.' Does this no longer apply? Are we now bowing to corporations like Magna? Without the right to strike, there is no counter balance to that corporate power."

Cone Leaning Right

Benedict Arnold - ALHN Contact - Louis Quigley

Ethel and Julius Rosenberg

Alger Hiss

Tony Dionisio

one who betrays another's trust or is false to an obligation or duty
2 : one who commits treason

to lead astray; especially /
to deliver to an enemy by treachery


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He pull out from CLC!

He pull out from Building Trade!

He pull out from AFL-CIO!

He pull out from Labourer Parade!

He was after orginized labour force not unorganized! Therefore:

He fought with Carpenters Union!

He fought with Drywallers Union!

He fought with Painters Union!

He fought with Operators Union!

He fought with Teamsters Union!

He fought with Sheet Metal Union!

and many more and more...

Tony Dionisio is a very good friend with right wing politician of Canada!

John Tory

Jim Flaherty

Ernie Eves

Tony Clement

and many more and more...

He never liked NDP!

He is the King of Universe: Tony Dionisio!

When he aim to do something, he does not care the damage to any one!

Now he is out of office, collecting 100.000 dollar pension and attacking Local 183, eventgough he knows this fight can hurt members health benefit and pension. He does not care at all.

Worse part of all, he got the support of Buzz Hargrove.

Shame on you Buzz Hargrove!

Shame on you Buzz Hargrove!

Shame on you Buzz Hargrove!

Shame on you Buzz Hargrove!

Shame on you Buzz Hargrove!

Shame on you Buzz Hargrove!

Shame on you that you associate with an enemy of Labour Movement Of Canadian History!


Magna deal would make King smile

Column, Oct. 28

The deal between the CAW and Magna would indeed make William Lyon Mackenzie King happy, as it would the Axis leaders Thomas Walkom mentions. CAW president Buzz Hargrove has gone from providing a progressive leadership around a huge number of issues to slipping into the muck of lesser evils and accommodation of the wealthy. What a shame.

Mark Connery, Toronto

A new deal for labour?

Letter, Oct. 30

James McKenzie makes the case for the Magna/CAW deal with the observation that "workers don't join a union because they want to go on strike." This is true, and it's also generally true that countries do not build up an army so that they can immediately invade a neighbouring country. They do it for their security and to warn others that their intentions are serious.

I know of very few workers who welcome the prospect of a strike. On the other hand, there's nothing like a union getting a 90 per cent strike mandate from its members and using that fact to bargain a good deal without anyone having to hit the bricks.

Tim Heffernan, Toronto

"Long live Bosses"

The Canadian labour movement should be lead by CCWU in the face of  governments, corporate  and the social and economic concerns of all workers. Organizing is destructive and divisive, also orginizing cost too much money to our allies(bosses). Raiding is great! Let us support,  make our corporate and their bosses grow.