CAW Strongly Urges Ontario and Federal Governments to Keep GM Shares
TORONTO, Nov. 30, 2012 /CNW/ - The CAW is strongly urging the Ontario and
federal governments to hold onto its shares of General Motors and not sell
them for any short term fiscal or political gain.
"The Conference Board of Canada and Scotiabank have both recently issued
reports indicating that auto industry profits in North America are at record
highs, and poised to get even stronger," said CAW President Ken Lewenza.
"This is clearly not the time to sell the government's shares."
Lewenza made the comments in reaction to today's news that the Ontario
government is considering selling its shares in GM.
Independent economic studies have confirmed that the Ontario and federal
governments have received a net fiscal benefit from their original investments
in GM and Chrysler during the financial crisis of 2009. "The enormous personal
and corporate tax revenues paid by a revitalized auto industry and the tens of
thousands of auto assembly and parts workers in Canada, mean that this
investment has already paid dividends for Ontario workers and taxpayers,"
The federal and provincial governments have much more to gain in holding onto
their shares, and using them to leverage a larger production footprint in
Canada by GM in the future, Lewenza suggested.
"Contrary to conventional free-market rhetoric, it makes good business sense
for governments to own direct equity stakes in crucial industrial firms.
This is the practice in other successful auto exporting jurisdictions, like
Germany, France, and Asia, and it should be our practice, too," Lewenza stated.
"Whether it likes it or not, the Ontario government is clearly in the auto
business, and has to be. This industry's presence in Ontario is too
important to Ontario's economic and fiscal health for government not to play a
central role," Lewenza concluded.
In its April 2012 auto policy document called "Re-thinking Canada's Auto
Industry: A Policy Vision to Escape the Race to the Bottom," the CAW urges
governments to maintain their minority stake in GM.
"We urge the Canadian and Ontario government to maintain their current
minority share of General Motors, and to utilize that share in a more
pro-active effort to ensure that Canada's economic interests are respected in
GM's future business decisions," the report states on page 37.
The full report can be accessed at: http://www.rethinktheeconomy.ca/resources.
Finance Canada has indicated government support for the industry saved 52,000
contact: CAW Economist Jim Stanford (cell) 416-230-2046 or CAW Communications
Shannon Devine (cell) 416-302-1699
SOURCE: Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)
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-0- Nov/30/2012 20:58 GMT
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