Ransom?

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Chrysler LLC threatened last night to pull the company’s production out of Canada – a move that would throw 9,000 employees out of work – unless governments here provide $2.3-billion (U.S.) in loans and its Canadian union agrees to slash labour costs by 25 per cent.

At a parliamentary committee hearing last night, Chrysler president Thomas LaSorda said the company would commit to maintaining roughly a quarter of its North American production in Canada if its “needs” are met.

Ah, yes.  The “you want these jobs to stay in Canada, you gotta pay for it” routine. We have seen it from GM and now from Chrysler. Boy, these companies sure are prudent in the art of blackmail.

In my opinion, these companies are on their way out, either way. We can throw money at them, give them tax benefits, or maybe give them the whole nine yards, these companies WILL fail. If not now, then sometime in the near future. So why does it seem like a good idea by the government to put money (our money) in this business? I would rather that the government spend those billions of dollars in repatriating the displaced workers!! Why is that so hard to do?

Part of the problem is probably the workers themselves. They are unionised and losing these companies would make a dent in their status quo. I have no clue how much these workers are paid but I have heard that the amounts are way above the average in Canada. Moreover, their voices in the political spectrum is loud. They represent a block of votes that could easily go the other way if an MP does not do their biding.

I am all for unions but this is getting ridiculous. Seems like these unions need to be taken to the washers kicking and screaming. I know there is going to be a huge impact on the Ontario economy (I have a couple of relatives working in the auto related industries) but I’d rather have the impact now when the economy is down in the dumps, than when it is recovering 2 years from now.

If I understand this correctly, to save their voting bank, the MPs are going to allow the GM deal to go through and, most likely, the Chrysler deal too. And we, the tax payors, will get shafted.

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