CAW Study Finds Canadian Auto Assembly Plants Most Productive in North America
TORONTO - A detailed study of productivity levels in the
North American auto assembly industry has confirmed that Canadian auto
factories are the most efficient in the continent. Moreover, the study shows
that unionized auto plants demonstrate higher labour productivity than
non-union auto plants.
The study was released today by the Canadian Auto Workers union and was
written by CAW Economist Jim Stanford. Based on the analysis of independent
government and industry data (especially statistics published in the annual
Harbour Report, the leading survey of auto productivity), the CAW study
indicates that average labour productivity is more than 11 per cent higher in
Canadian auto assembly plants than in U.S. plants, and about 35 per cent
better than in Mexican plants.
The CAW report, "Productivity in the North American Auto Assembly
Industry, 1998-2007," also confirms that in both Canada and the U.S.,
unionized auto assembly facilities are more productive than non-union plants.
CAW-represented plants are the most productive, on average, of all plants in
North America, followed by non-union plants in Canada, and then by
UAW-represented plants in the U.S. Non-union plants in the U.S., and Mexican
plants operated by offshore automakers, are the least productive (on average)
in the continent. CAW plants are six per cent more productive than non-union
Canadian plants, eight per cent more productive than UAW plants, and 24 per
cent more productive than non-union transplant operations in the U.S. Of the
ten most efficient auto assembly plants in North America, not one is
non-union; four are CAW-represented, and six are UAW-represented.
The study's findings are relevant in light of the current cyclical and
structural challenges facing the auto industry in North America, and
elsewhere. "Canada's productivity advantage in auto assembly is significant
and consistent," Stanford said, "and it is a valuable ace in Canada's hand as
the continental industry restructures."
CAW President Ken Lewenza pointed out that higher productivity is at
least as important as wage levels in determining an industry's
competitiveness. "It is no accident that unionized Canadian auto plants are
the most efficient on the continent," he said. "It reflects years of effort by
our union to keep our facilities modern, efficient, and successful. Our
productivity advantage is a reality that must be recognized by both the
automakers and governments in the difficult months ahead."
The full study can be downloaded at: http://www.caw.ca/en/5404.htm