Canadian GM Auto Workers Fighting Offshore Outsourcing

GM, after receiving billions in U.S. taxpayer money, is repaying Americans by offshore outsourcing their jobs. Canadian auto workers are raising hell (and it was not even their taxpayer money) about it, trying to get limits on imports.

The Canadian Auto Workers union says Ottawa must make sure General Motors of Canada doesn't import any more vehicles from offshore countries if the government wants to protect jobs here and assure protection of public investment in the teetering automaker.

As talks for worker concessions continue in Canada, Detroit-based parent GM Corp. – which is seeking billions of dollars in public loans – has revealed to the U.S. Congress it plans to start importing small cars from China within two years. Union officials in both countries say the move will kill jobs in North America.

"Obviously the federal and Ontario governments should maximize their return from GM and Chrysler and possibly Ford by limiting imports which have been costing us jobs for years," CAW president Ken Lewenza said in an interview yesterday.

He said the union has pressed Ottawa for years to stop a flood of auto imports here because offshore countries don't offer the same access to Canadian-made vehicles.

GM is already importing South Korean-made small cars to Canada despite union efforts to limit them since Canadian automakers face trade barriers in that Asian country.

Note, GM could demand major changes in trade agreements on unfair tariffs against American cars and trucks instead of offshore outsourcing production....Nah, that would make too much sense.

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CAFE standards

I just read the Obama speech on increasing MPG on cars.

He claims we will spend less abroad and more at home...trying to justify the increased expense on fuel efficient cars vs. long term savings in gas costs.

uh, not if automobile manufacturing is offshore outsourced! No siree! Same import problem we always had.

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I just wrote a pair of posts on slashdot about this

I'll combine them here.

First of all, it's possible to build a large 1950s American Style Car that gets 100 MPG. But the real story isn't MPG, it's T/MPG (Ton/Miles/Gallon)- how far you can move a ton on a gallon of gas. Neil Young's 1959 Lincoln Continental is really getting about 250 T/MPG.

CSX has been advertising their GE Built Locomotives get 463 T/MPG. This sounds impressive until you look up the mileage of your modern diesel-electric hybrid semi truck; (sorry for using wikianswers for this one, but it's all pretty anecdotal anyway) and you realize that they're getting 321.2 T/MPG. Or maybe more, neither of these calculations (either train or truck) count the weight of the vehicle itself- only the weight of the freight they can haul. Their full T/MPG is probably at least another 50 to 100 over that.

Compare this to a Toyota Prius getting a mere 112.5 T/MPG, and you wonder why they're holding out on us, and why car manufacturers are complaining about increasing Cafe standards to a mere 87.5 T/MPG (given 35 MPG and a 2.5 ton vehicle).

Looks to me that it isn't the engine that is the problem- but rather the transmission. And if GE can make an electric positrac adaptive transmission for a locomotive right here in the United States, why can't GM make one for a car in Detroit?!?!?!?!!?

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