Arms Maker, Union Buster: Litton Industries - A Corporate Profile

Joyce, Tom; MacAdam, Murray
Year Published:  1987
Pages:  20pp   Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX3245

Litton continues to represent what is most reprehensible in corporate capitalism: blatanta disregard for the rights of their own workers and the concerns of others. The skills of Litton workers should be used for socially useful purposes, not for nuclear war preparations.

Litton Industries has been the focal point of continuing protests by peace activists during the past few years. Opponents of the cruise missile targeted Litton's Toronto plant because the company makes guidance systems for the cruise missile.

In ARMS MAKER, UNION BUSTER, three members of the Cruise Missile Conversion Project provide a brief, readabel profile of the American-owned comapny and its activities since its founding in 1953.

During repeated protests at the Rexdale plant, some critics charged that Litton was being unfarily singled out. But the authors contend that Litton has a history of poor labour relations, cost-overruns, and questionable business practices. Though it started as a small California-based company, producing navigational systems for aircraft by 1982, Litton had become the 88th largest industrial corporation in the United States, with annual sales exceeding $4 billion, accumulating most of its profits from military contracts, on a cost plus profit basis.

Desroches, Joyce and MacAdam detail the company's history of anti-union activity in both its Canada and U.S. plants. Every effort is made by Litton to prevent union organizing. If the union is successful, the company often refuses to bargain for first contracts, and promotes decertification drives as well.

In Canada, all attempts to organize Litton workers have been blocked. While the protests at the Toronto plant are now sporadic, the information provided in the booklet will be useful for people in Nova Scotia, as they ponder the recent proposal announcing the construction of a Litton radar systems plant in the Halifax area.
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