Victory for Local 252 Members Campaigning to Protect Jobs

November 12, 2012, 12:05 PM EST

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A rezoning application which threatened the future of more than 500 jobs at the Nestle plant in west end Toronto has been rejected by a key City of Toronto council committee.

The rezoning application would have allowed for residential condominium buildings next to the Nestle chocolate plant on Sterling Avenue, near Dundas Street West and Lansdowne Avenue. If the rezoning went ahead the CAW was concerned that Nestle would not be motivated to make future investments.

"We mobilized our membership and sent out hundreds of our members into the community," said Local 252 Financial Secretary Barry Lines. He said the workers gave up their own time to knock on doors and hand out leaflets throughout the community.

At a November 8 meeting of the city's Planning and Growth Management Committee councillors voted no to the application. Lines said these councillors voted to protect employment designated lands.

"It improves job security for the 500 workers currently employed at Nestle as well as future generations of workers," said Lines.

CAW Local 252 President Paul Shiels thanked the membership and leadership of Local 252, national staff, other unions and the Toronto and York Region Labour Council for pulling together on this important cause.

"It's this kind of support and solidarity that helped us turn the tide in this struggle," Shiels said. "It has also helped to build greater solidarity and confidence among the members of this bargaining unit and right across our local," he said.

CAW Local 252 along with other labour unions and particularly workers from the nearby Christie cookie plant who are members of the Bakery, Confectionary and Tobacco Workers union, as well as the Toronto York Region Labour Council held a press conference a day before the committee meeting. At the press conference these groups outlined the importance of protecting employment lands in the city and keeping good union jobs such as those at Nestle'.

The Nestle plant produces chocolate bars such as Aero, Coffee Crisp, Kit Kat and Smarties among others.

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