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Industry minister, CAW president grapple with automotive sector layoffs

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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.

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Industry minister, CAW president grapple with automotive sector layoffs
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