Saturday 13 December 2008

Canadian Automotive industry bailout

The headlines are scary. | Canada | Ottawa pledges billions to avert auto meltdown
Ottawa pledges billions to avert auto meltdown

While I have blogged about this before (Automotive Bailout), I am still shocked. We need to put money into retooling, retraining, and creating viable industry that uses Canadian workers to produce goods and services that will maintain a standard of living. It is time to stop outsourcing and exploiting workers in other countries. Give the money to the workers who can form a collective and produce clean, toxin-free, reliable, environmentally safe products. I resent throwing good money after bad. We need to rethink and reinvent our economy based on the current situation.

If or when the bailout fails, so will the other industries, secondary and tertiary goods and services that support the industry and their workers.

We must invest in those who are interested in retraining. Poverty and ignorance can be ameliorated with supports in place to educate those in saving money and finding retraining and/or alternate work. A Toronto Star article, "The death and life of small Ontario towns", asks the question, "Do these places have a right to exist?" How nuts is that? They were created to help manufacturers pay small town wages and save the big bucks. Now, outsourcing is doing the same thing by moving to overseas sources of cheap labour. We need to reverse this, let the employees take a loan from the $billions destined for the automotive industry, and provide a thriving industry to small town Canadians. The town can create a board to manage plants, like the former Hershey factory. Surely, somebody can create solutions that will be long lasting and find a vision of this new millennium.

Smiths Falls, Ontario, is a case in point. Chuck Hudson, Community Development Officer, tells me that these job losses are caused mainly by the loss of three major employers, one of them being Hershey (the others are a provincial institution and Stanley Mechanics Tools factory).

The Hershey factory is moving production to Mexico where cheaper labour will help them make money. Ontarians should be more interested in providing fair wages for work and support local workers who have forged a good life in a small town. One comment on the above article says, as I do, that we should demand Fair Trade for Canadians. No handouts, but business loans and Transfer Payment Agencies to help workers manage their towns.

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