April 13, 2009

Union: Canada’s Big 3 made billions

A Canadian Auto Workers union report published Monday said General Motors Canada and Chrysler Canada made profits of $37 billion between 1972 and 2007.

The study was done by CAW economist Jim Stanford, and doesn't focus on Ford's Canadian division since it isn't teetering on bankruptcy like its two rivals, the Windsor Star reported.

While the auto industry is facing a deep financial crisis, over the long haul it has been a strongly profitable and beneficial sector in Canada's overall economy, the report said.

It is painfully ironic that the retirees who worked during the auto industry's 'golden age' should now be targeted for major reductions in income and benefits.

The union was speaking in response to warnings last week from Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty the provincial government might not be able to underwrite retired autoworkers' pensions and benefits if the automakers go bankrupt.

The study claims Canada's auto manufacturing industry was profitable every year between 1972 and 2007 except for 2002, caused by economic fallout from the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the newspaper said.