CAW Calls for Loan Guarantees, Opposes GM-Chrysler Merger



    TORONTO, Oct. 23 /CNW/ - The CAW is calling on the federal government to
provide loan guarantees to Canadian industry, similar to what Finance Minister
Jim Flaherty has offered to banks to support inter-bank lending.
    CAW President Ken Lewenza said that at a time when the country's
industrial base is badly eroding, and thousands more jobs could be threatened
with a merger of General Motors Corporation and Chrysler LLC, the government
must respond with equal energy used to support Canadian banks and other
financial institutions.
    "It would be unjust for our government to inject public funds into banks
to protect the financial industry, while allowing productive corporations in
value-added industries like auto to collapse," said Lewenza. "Hard-working
Canadians deserve government support just as much as investment banks and
hedge funds."
    In a meeting of CAW local workplace representatives from both General
Motors and Chrysler, CAW national and local leaders explicitly opposed the
rumoured merger of GM and Chrysler, and signed onto a detailed eight-point
statement that calls on the government to provide liquidity assistance and
protect Canada's automotive industry through any future mergers or
restructurings.
    Lewenza called the rumoured GM-Chrysler merger a "shell game."
    "We cannot solve the industry's problems by reshuffling company brands,"
he said.
    The statement also commits the union to use every avenue at its disposal
to protect Canadian facilities, including calling on the federal Competition
Bureau opposing any merger that does not include protection for Canadian
operations.
    The full content of the statement is available on www.caw.ca.





For further information:

For further information: CAW Communications, Shannon Devine, (cell)
(416) 302-1699 or John McClyment, (cell) (416) 315-3202

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Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)

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