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Ensure fairness in industry dealings
From the Toronto Star Feb. 21, 2005. Letters to the Editor

Re: Supplier that fought back on Feb. 15.

The brilliant exposé by Tony Van Alphen about auto-parts giant Intier Automotive enriching itself at the expense of a tried and tested but smaller supplier — Axiom — signals the murky dealings within Canada's auto-parts industry.

How can a company that has doubled its earnings year on year force a 31.8 per cent price cut on its small suppliers?

Such an action reflects the symptom that corporate greed in the auto-parts sector is not very different from the infamous Enron and Nortel which used different routes in quest of the same goal.

Canadian industry cannot expect to improve its competitive edge when supplier-customer relationships, built up over a number of years, are threatened by a "take it or leave it" price cut order.

If the courts, the government and the community do not discourage Intier from its bullying tactics, then other tier-two suppliers could meet the same fate that has befallen Axiom.

All stakeholders, including banks, customers and industry associations must join hands in ensuring the development of fairness in industry dealings. Everyone wins when Canadian industry gets better.

Failure to do so could lead to dashing budding entrepreneurs' ventures, large-scale loss of jobs as well as erosion of decency and fairness in the business sector.

A. Rego, Toronto

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