Latest meeting with GM "didn't go too well": CAW

Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:52pm EDT
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By John McCrank

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian Auto Workers and General Motors of Canada met again on Wednesday to try to resolve their bitter dispute over the closing of an Ontario truck plant, but a union spokesman said there was no progress.

Keith Osborne, chairman of CAW Local 222, in Oshawa, said he met with Larry Weiner, an executive vice-president at GM, to try to advance discussions after previous meetings in Detroit and Toronto ended at impasses.

"The meeting didn't go too well," he said.

Osborne said GM wanted union to drop a grievance filed against the company claiming the company broke their collective agreement. It also wanted the CAW to drop complaints brought to the Ontario Labour Relations Board and to stop talking to the media about the issue, before moving on, he said.

"I told him (Weiner), you'd be better off coming up here with a package, instead of saying drop everything and then we'll discuss things, because I don't trust you guys any more," Osborne said.

Osborne said he walked out of the meeting, but that he was going to meet with Weiner again in the afternoon.

A GM spokesman was unavailable for comment.

The two sides are due back in court on Thursday, where a judge will hear arguments on whether the CAW will be liable for C$1.5 million ($1.47 million) in damage claims by GM relating to production stoppages from the union's protests against the planned plant closing.   Continued...

<p>Canadian Auto Workers president Buzz Hargrove talks to the media in the lobby of the General Motors headquarters in Detroit, Michigan June 6, 2008. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook</p>