CAW Reaches New Agreement at Auto Parts Maker Wescast

November 21, 2012, 2:10 PM EST

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CAW Local 504 members have voted 98 per cent in favour of a new collective agreement with auto parts maker Wescast Industries in Strathroy, Ontario, ending a three-week strike.

Workers at the plant had been out on strike since October 27. A tentative agreement was reached November 16 and the ratification vote held later that day

The agreement resists concessions and extends a commitment on the life of the plant for at least another year, said Jerry Dias, assistant to the CAW president. "In addition, the company has agreed to a process that will hopefully transition the plant from iron to stainless steel production," Dias said.

CAW National Representative Jim Woods said there were a number of other important gains, including an increase in the severance entitlement to 2.4 weeks per year of service for any permanent layoff.

CAW Local 504 President Dave Reston said the solidarity of the bargaining committee and support of the membership was crucial in achieving the tentative agreement.

"The activism of CAW area local unions as well as other unions and community members in providing support to the picket line was critical in maintaining the membership's spirits in Strathroy, as they walked in bitter cold conditions many days," Reston said.

CAW Local 504 represents 65 workers at Wescast, which produces exhaust manifolds for General Motors.

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