Lear Workers Approve New Contract

November 6, 2012, 2:55 PM EST

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CAW members at Lear Seating in Whitby, Ontario have ratified a new collective agreement by 78 per cent at a November 4 meeting.

Production workers approved the contract by 77 per cent, while skilled trades workers approved it by 100 per cent.

The deal was reached on October 29, after a two day long strike.

"As our members endured extreme weather conditions on the picket line, we were at the bargaining table pushing back against Lear's huge list of concessions," said CAW Local 222 President Chris Buckley.

'The determination and support from our members gave us the ability to bargain a fair settlement that did not include Lear's concession list. This round of bargaining was about allowing our members to share in the company's success and we have done that," Buckley said.

The union was successful in resisting some $20 million in concessions tabled by Lear and made gains in time off the job, retirement incentives, lump sum payments and skilled trades improvements.

The contract contains slight changes to work practices, with the goal of positioning the facility for future investment. The CAW also obtained a commitment in writing from Lear that should it be successful in acquiring seat contracts for any of GM's future models, the seats will be built in the Whitby facility.

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 in early October.

CAW Local 222 represents 400 workers at Lear Whitby.

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