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Groggy from the punching it received at Detroit from the hands of C.I.O., the General Motors of Canada waits for the knock-out punch. It is prepared to allow the employees of the Ontario plants all the benefits of the Detroit Agreement, balking only at the employees' representative, who is an organizer from the United States. What the Lewis groups must learn is how to give up tactics successful in the past for others that under new circumstances will bring peace to Oshawa.
Two features make it impossible for the C.I.O. to climb the Canadian grades in the same gear which it used in Detroit. The hill across the border is less steep, for General Motors Ltd. largely gave way before the strike commenced. The forty-hour week, extra pay for overtime, grievance committees, and seniority rights are conceded by the company, which opposes most stiffly the question of union recognition. Negotiations on this issue await only the withdrawal from the employee delegation of an agent of the Detroit United Autoniobile Workers. It is the extraordinarily aggressive tactics of the C.I.O. agitators swarming in the lumber, pulp and mining districts of Ontario that anger the people and Premier Hepburn, who on his record might favor peaceful unionization. The vehemence of the Canadian opposition is intensified by another factor which the C.I.O. failed to appreciate-national pride. However hostile Ontario is to unionization as such, the introduction of American agitators could not have failed to increase the bitterness. The General Staff of the United Automobile Workers issuing orders for the strike in the manner of a Caesar addressing a colony and Generalissimo Homer Martin flying across the line to give his lieutenants a condescending pat on the back are spectacles that self-respecting Canadians do not tolerate.
Travelers who have ever committed boners in foreign countries will appreciate the embarrassment of C.I.O. which is meeting the strongest opposition of its career on questions that did not give it pause at home. It gives no real help to the workers in Oshawa because General Motors has offered the arrangements of the Detroit settlement, nor does the tie up to the United States aid the Ontario unions any more than the connection with Russia aids the Communist Party in America. "Keep the Home Fires Burning" would be a good slogan for the C.I.O., taking a handicap off the Canadian unions and turning time and money to the workers of America.
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