Negotiations Between CAW and Lear Whitby Stall, Strike Deadline Looms

October 27, 2012, 6:00 PM EST

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Negotiations at Lear Whitby have slowly ground to a halt with the company demanding deep concessions for its workforce, says the CAW. The concessions would impact current workers as well as retirees.

The CAW is warning that it may have to go out on strike at Lear Whitby if talks continue to falter. The union has issued a strike notice for 11:59 p.m. tonight, Saturday, October 27. CAW Local 222, representing the 400 Lear Whitby workers, took a strike vote last week, receiving a strike mandate of 97 per cent, to exercise if necessary.

The strike threat comes on the heels of a strike at auto parts company Wescast, in Strathroy Ontario which began this morning. The strike at Wescast is the result of a sourcing decision by General Motors which would see the current work performed at the facility go to China, as opposed to staying in Canada.

"During the previous sets of negotiations, our members accepted a number of sacrifices with the goal of keeping the facility open, and the view towards long-term prosperity and employment," said CAW Assistant to the National President Jerry Dias.

"Now that Lear has made an excellent recovery, this corporation continues to demand that our members accept less and work harder. We have to draw the line." Dias said that in the last quarter alone, company earnings and share prices were up to the point that Lear was able to return $63 million to shareholders.

Negotiations began in early August, but were suspended on account of the contract talks with the Detroit Three. Talks between the CAW and Lear Whitby resumed earlier this month.

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