April 19, 2013

Volume 43, No.15


Agreement with National Auto Radiator Ends Lock-Out

The CAW has reached an agreement with National Auto Radiator to end the lock-out of its workers in Windsor, Ontario.
 
As part of the agreement, National Auto Radiator will resume payment of employee and retiree benefits as of April 17.
 
The agreement, reached on April 16, will stay in place for 30 days. During this time, the company will  not manufacture or ship any products from the plant.
 
 "The fate of the facility has not changed, but this agreement will allow us the space to negotiate a closure agreement, instead of having our members locked out, and retirees cut off of health benefits," said CAW National President Ken Lewenza.
 
The union has agreed to end it's picket and will not strike during the 30-day period. Lewenza described the 30 days as a cooling off period, wherein the union and the company will negotiate a closure agreement.
 
The accord also includes the consultation with the union, should the company be able to sell any existing equipment from the facility.
 
The lock-out of CAW Local 195 members began on April 11. The CAW had been in negotiations with National Auto Radiator for more than nine weeks prior to the lock-out. The union bargaining committee consistently rejected employer demands for major concessions, including a $12 per hour cut in wages.
 
Workers learned of the lock-out upon arriving to work and seeing the plant gates padlocked. On that same day, Narmco, the parent company of National Auto Radiator, halted payments of retiree health and drug benefits. The CAW had picked up the cost of those benefits.
 
CAW Local 195 represents the remaining 16 workers currently employed at the plant. An additional 33 workers are currently on layoff.
 
The workers' collective agreement expired on March 31.

The following letter was published in the Windsor Star on April 16, 2013.
 
Re: CAW to pay retirees' benefits, April 13.
 
The Narmco Group, owners of National Auto Radiator, discontinued retirees' benefits and demanded ridiculously deep cuts from the 16 active workers. This move obviously was not because workers were bankrupting the company.
 
This appears to be a calculated plan to shut down the plant and blame union workers for their demise. Though, after the union leadership instructed workers to report to work while negotiations would continue, the company recalled the union to a meeting where their lawyer announced that employees would be locked out.
 
I understand that at this meeting, one of the owners was smiling at the shock to workers' representatives who were blindsided by the announcement.
 
This is only one good reason why working men and women need the strength that a union provides. As shown in this instance, unscrupulous employers don't give any thought to the hardship they create when they attempt to cheat workers out of what they've earned.
 
Since 1945, the owners of National Auto Radiator have earned good profits as a result of workers labour, yet they have no concern regarding the harm they do to the affected employees and their dependants.
 
Bless the CAW leadership who came to the rescue of the retirees by continuing to pay their benefits until they fight it out in our legal system. How can government stand idly by and allow the company to avoid their responsibility with impunity?
 
PETE THOMAS, Windsor

CMHA Workers Gearing up for Union Vote

Workers at the newly formed Canadian Mental Health Association - Waterloo Wellington Dufferin branch are gearing up for a union representation vote on April 22 and 23, 2013.
 
These 250 workers provide important health services,  as well as crisis help and program support, to individuals and families experiencing mental illness across Southwestern Ontario.
 
The CAW national union, along with regional workplace representatives in health care, have been meeting with CMHA workers for the past weeks, listening to their issues and sharing experiences of  bargaining collective agreements in the healthcare sector.
 
The CAW is one of two unions that CMHA workers can choose to vote for. 
 
The representation vote comes on the heels of a merger between CMHA Grand River branch and Trellis Mental Health and Development Services that came into effect on April 1. The new Waterloo Wellington Dufferin branch is being touted as the largest and best-funded mental health service provider in Ontario. 
 
The CAW currently represents 20 workers at the former CMHA Grand River branch. 
 
Find out more about CMHA workers and the upcoming vote by visiting http://www.caw.ca/cmha

OFL 2013 Labour Scholarships Available

The Ontario Federation of Labour is calling for applications for its annual Labour Post-Secondary School Scholarships, and inviting all members of union affiliates (and the children of members) to apply.
 
Eligible recipients must be entering post-secondary school in September 2013, the first year of a full-time course of study (leading to a diploma or certificate) at a public Ontario community college or the first year of an undergraduate program (leading to a degree) at a publicly funded Ontario university or college.
 
Two scholarships will be awarded worth $2,000 each.
 
The deadline for receipt of applications is May 10.
 
For application information and entry criteria, please visit: http://ofl.ca/index.php/2013-pse-scholarship/

Representatives of the New Union Project Proposal Committee will be travelling the country from April 25 to May 16, attending joint regional meetings of CAW and CEP members. Committee reps will outline the progress made so far by the six New Union Project Working Groups (particularly the Organizing, Communications and Constitution Working Groups) and solicit feedback that will inform the work taking place over the coming months, prior to the founding convention on Labour Day weekend. Be sure to attend the meeting in your area! Members must RSVP their local union, if they plan to attend.  For more information, visit: http://www.newunionproject.ca/

 

Date

City

Location

Start time

Thursday, April 25

Thunder Bay

Airlane Hotel & Conference Ctr 698 W. Arthur St., Madrid Room

2:00 p.m.

Friday, April 26

Winnipeg

Fort Garry Hotel 222 Broadway, Crystal Ballroom

Noon

Saturday, April 27

Vancouver

Hotel Vancouver 900 Georgia St. W., Saturna Island Room

12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 30

Ottawa

CAW Area office 5 Gurdwara Drive

6:00 p.m.

Monday, May 6

Windsor

CAW Local 200/444 1855 Turner Road

Noon

Monday, May 6

Sarnia

CEP Local 914 900 Devine Street

7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, May 7

London

CAW Local 27 606 First Street

8:00 a.m.

Tuesday, May 7

Toronto West

CAW Local 1285 23 Regan Road

1:00 p.m.

Wednesday, May 8

Toronto East

CAW Local 222 1425 Phillip Murray

9:00 a.m.

Friday, May 10

Fredericton

Fredericton Inn 1315 Regent Street, Salon B & C

10:00 a.m.

Saturday, May 11

Halifax

W.T.C.C. 1800 Argyle Street, Room 200C

9:00 a.m.

Monday, May 13

Quebec

SFPQ Building 5100, des Gradins Blvd

1:00 p.m.

Wednesday, May 15

Edmonton

Matrix Hotel 10640 100 Ave. N.W., Quartz 'B' Ballroom

10:30 a.m.

Wednesday, May 15

Teleconference

 

7:00 p.m.

Thursday, May 16

Saskatoon

Radisson Hotel405 20th St. East, Davinci Ballroom

10:30 a.m.


 


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