Kitchener Plant Info-Picket Supports CAW Members in Winnipeg

June 3, 2011, 3:55 PM EST

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CAW members held an information picket outside a Magellan Aerospace-owned parts plant in Kitchener, Ontario on June 2, in an effort to draw attention to an ongoing dispute between union members and the company in Winnipeg.

The nearly 400 CAW Local 3005 members working at Bristol Aerospace (owned by Magellan) in Winnipeg have been on strike for two-months after negotiations stalled over a company proposal to claw back retiree benefits (including health and drug benefits), among other workplace issues. 

In a move intended to raise awareness of the Winnipeg workers' plight, 100 union activists distributed leaflets to non-union workers at the Kitchener facility - a move that garnered the attention of national media - hoping to put pressure on the company and its customers. The union also raised concern over the company's use of replacement workers during the strike.

Jerry Dias, Assistant to the CAW President, told the Toronto Star that the union intends to step up efforts until a fair deal is reached.

"What happened today will not be isolated," he said.

Bill Gibson, CAW Kitchener Area Director, said the fight at Magellan and the attack on retiree benefits is being played out in other workplaces across Canada.

"Our members in Winnipeg are leading the fight against what they see as unjust and unwarranted concessions, and it's clearly garnering the sympathy of workers across the country."

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