Electro-Motive Closure Agreement Approved
February 23, 2012, 12:45 PM EST
CAW Local 27 members from Electro-Motive Diesel in London, Ontario have voted 95 per cent in favour of a closure agreement that provides enhanced severance packages.
The agreement includes three weeks of severance pay for every year of service, a $1,500 lump sum payment and maintenance of disability benefits and extended benefit coverage for all workers and their families.
More than 450 workers attended a February 23 meeting in London to review details of the agreement negotiated by the CAW, which came after the company announced February 3 it would close Canada's only train engine manufacturing plant.
The workers were locked out by the company on January 1 after refusing massive concession demands by Caterpillar, the parent company, including 50 per cent pay cuts.
CAW President Ken Lewenza thanked the OFL, CLC and other unions for showing their support throughout an incredibly difficult and bitter dispute.
He stressed that the free movement of global capital from country to country must be stopped because it's undercutting workers' wages.
"We have to continue the fight," Lewenza said. "Because too many workers are losing their jobs, both union and non-union, because of dead-beat employers - in everything from manufacturing plants to call centres," Lewenza said.
CAW Local 27 President Tim Carrie commended the workers for their solidarity and support, which he said the bargaining committee brought to the negotiating table each day.
"The company didn't just see the committee, they saw you, your families and the community," Carrie said.
Electro-Motive plant chairperson Bob Scott thanked the members of the bargaining committee and the CAW membership at the plant. He stressed that during recent talks "the CAW negotiated as much as possible during extremely tough bargaining with Caterpillar."
To view the Electro-Motive closure agreement click here.