ST. JOHN'S, Aug. 11 /CNW/ - The 1,000 delegates to the CAW Joint Council
meeting in St. John's unanimously endorsed a discussion paper that fully
commits the CAW to the fight against climate change, while also strengthening
Canada's auto industry and other crucial domestic sectors.
The paper contains a detailed strategy for "greening" the Canadian
automotive industry, which directly employs over 150,000 manufacturing
workers, but has suffered deeply in the face of one-way offshore imports.
The CAW's plan includes the following elements:
- Support for compulsory fuel efficiency regulations on new vehicles,
so long as standards are defined according to vehicle size and have
adequate phase-in periods. This ensures that the burden of new
standards is fairly shared among all automakers, both domestic and
- Major public supports for Canadian manufacturing investments in
green vehicles and components (like hybrid vehicles, clean diesel
engines, and other opportunities).
- A joint government-business-labour strategy to improve the economic
viability of small car production within Canada.
- Limits on the explosion of offshore imports to our domestic market,
to ensure that environmental rules do no further undermine the
- Major investments in public transit. (The CAW represents several
thousand members who work in public transit services, and in
manufacturing public transit equipment.)
The paper strongly criticized the federal government's recently announced
"feebate" program, which provides a government rebate to purchasers of small,
imported vehicles, but imposes new taxes on larger domestic vehicles.
"There's no inherent conflict between protecting our jobs, and protecting
the environment," said CAW President Buzz Hargrove after the paper was
adopted. "And our union has always supported good environmental policies."
"I am confident we can find policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions
and strengthen our domestic industries," Hargrove said. "But to do this, we
have to do better than the shallow, politically-driven band-aids which the
Harper government is applying to this issue."
The full text of "Climate Change and our Jobs: Finding the Right Balance"
policy paper will be available on the CAW website (www.caw.ca) Monday, August
For further information:
For further information: contact CAW Communications, Shannon Devine,
(cell) (416) 302-1699 or Angelo DiCaro, (cell) (416) 606-6311