CAW Local 61 Victim of Unfair Trade

September 15, 2007

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CAW Local 61 Victim Of Unfair Trade
CAW Local 61 Victim Of Unfair Trade
dated September 15, 2007

Bracebridge, Ontario
September 15, 2007

       After 51 years CAW Local 61 and its 500 members at the Dura Automotive Parts plant in Bracebridge Ontario has fallen victim to unfair trade. Ed Paterson, plant chair said the jobs are being shipped out of the country despite the fact the plant was profitable.

Ed Paterson
CAW Local 61 Plant Chair

       "Because of free trade we've lost jobs in Canada, not directly to Mexico but in a round about way. The American jobs go to Mexico and the Americans come up and take the Canadian jobs back again. And they have closed down three plants now; three Dura plants in Canada. The only three we had and they were all money making plants."

       Emotions ran deep as the members of Canadian Auto Workers Local 61 gathered in Bracebridge September 15th to say good bye to their fellow workers and celebrate the local's history.

Janine Brandon
CAW Local 61 (10 years)

       "Well I'm hoping I'm going to get another job along the same lines of what I was doing but that is kind of hard to do. I don't really know, I might have to move away if I don't find something soon."

Mike Hines
CAW Local 61 (13 years)

       "Well I'm 52 years old, so it is probably going to be very, very slim. I mean with all the experience that I have got, with the extra courses that I have taken; I thought that something better would come along but obviously it has not. So I will probably be like a lot of people in this community where you go for the $10 to $12 an hour jobs and try to survive."

Jane Ruttan
CAW Local 61 (25 years)

       "It's sad. It's scary, a big change not just for me but for my husband too."

       The CAW national union, along with Locals 599, 103, and 598 and the IPS Council donated money to hold a farewell picnic for the workers and their families as a way of honouring Local 61. When the plant gate closes in December Local 61 will cease to exist. Jerry Dias, assistant to CAW National President Buzz Hargrove brought a message from Hargrove and laid the blame for the plant closure on bad government policies.

Jerry Dias
Assistant to CAW National President

       "The same government allows the industry to unfold as it is. They will allow the Japanese and the Koreans to dump three million vehicles into the North American economy while we are not allowed to sell one vehicle in Japan or Korea. Three million vehicles is 15 assembly plants, it's hundreds of thousands of jobs in auto and auto parts."

       Five hundred CAW members worked at the Dura Automotive Parts plants in this northern Ontario community. Their $20 plus wages fuelled the local economy.

Ed Paterson
CAW Local 61 Plant Chair

       "It is a sad day for not only our members but for the community. This area here in Muskoka-Parry Sound, it is more a tourism area. It is not really industrial and we have lost a lot of jobs out of Bracebridge."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."

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