CAW expects 2013 to be another tough year for unions
The head of the Canadian Auto Workers union expects 2013 to be
another tough year for the labour movement across the country.
The last year saw big labour take a beating amid a sluggish
economy as manufacturing companies closed and the CAW union was
forced to accept lower starting wages for workers in auto plants.
CAW president Ken Lewenza says he hasn't seen companies so
confident about pushing for dramatic concessions from unions in
nearly 40 years.
He points out that, in the manufacturing sector, corporations
have made so many demands from unions it's almost unconscionable.
Lewenza says that, in addition to cutting wages and benefits,
companies are routinely seeking changes to pension plans and
two-tier wages for new hires.
The big labour boss hopes next year's formation of Canada's
largest private sector union through the merger of the CAW and the
Communication, Energy and Paperworkers will strengthen to voice of
Carleton University business professor Ian Lee says workers will
face ever growing pressure because of globalization, a strong
loonie, a slow-growing economy.
He also points to competition from neighbouring right to work
states, including Michigan.
QUEBEC BUSINESS REPORTER
(The Canadian Press)