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Windsor, Ontario: Let Employees Earn a Living Wage
The Windsor Star
Daeca Cardoso

January 25, 2012
View the Original Article

Re: CAW plays with fire, opinion column, by Chris Vander Doelen, Jan. 5.

I feel compelled to respond to Mr. Vander Doelen's column.

First and foremost, with respect to the so-called "bailout" that Chrysler received in 2008, let's understand and educate the public at large (something I assumed a newspaper would like to do). This was a high- interest loan, 12 per cent in fact, that our government profited from quite nicely.

According to canadianblackbook.com, in an article posted on May 26, 2011, Canadian federal and provincial governments were paid back $1.7 billion, which included both the principle and interest owed to both levels of government.

In your column, you stated that several billion of the $13 billion loaned by the taxpayers was still outstanding, but you failed to mention that this is owed to the American taxpayers, as all principal and interest was paid off to both levels of the Canadian government.

Some people are saying that these workers should just be happy that they have a job and accept the pay cuts. Nathan Smith answers this quite well in a blog: "If workers are to be satisfied with simply having a job, why shouldn't companies be happy with simply breaking even?" Or, in this case, with record profits.

Knowing this, it's hard to understand why the company feels compelled to ask for such drastic cuts, and it's also hard to understand why these workers aren't looking for a 20-percent, 10-per-cent or even a twoper-cent wage increase.

What are the demands of the union? Simply status quo. Let our employees continue to earn a living wage that they will infuse into the community, thereby keeping retailers and grocers in business.

Not as "hard-line" as Mr. Vander Doelen and Mr. Jeff Watson would like us to believe.

In conclusion, as Mr. Smith so eloquently states when referring to Electro- Motive workers who are standing up for themselves, the feeder plants and even the rest of us, ultimately, "Electro-Motive workers have refused to blink. It's time the rest of us opened our eyes."