CAW president Buzz Hargrove and federal Industry
Minister Jim Prentice are grappling with what to do about the 1,100
additional layoffs at Chrysler Canada that are part of a broader
restructuring by the automaker's American parent.
The CAW, which represents the unionized workers at not only
Chrysler Canada but also the Canadian subsidiaries of General Motors
and Ford, is calling for the federal government to a deal with the
rising dollar and to strengthen trade regulations.
But Prentice said as recently as Thursday, after the Chrysler
Canada layoffs were announced for its operations in Brampton and
Windsor, Ont., that there's not much in terms of specific aid the
Harper government can do right now for the auto industry.
The meeting comes as the loonie trades at historic highs amid
weakness in the American dollar and strong global demand for
Canadian-produced resources such as oil and metals.
The high loonie and low American dollar make it harder for many
Canadian manufacturers to compete in the United States, this
country's largest export market.