CAW Wins Grievance Over GM Truck Plant Closure

July 28, 2008

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Oshawa, Ontario
June 4, 2008

       The fight back against General Motors' decision to close its Oshawa truck plant, throwing 2,600 people out of work has ended in an historic settlement for the workers.

Oshawa, Ontario
June 8, 2008

       It was twelve days of standing their ground and taking the fight to General Motors. Twelve days of maintaining the blockade of the General Motors headquarters, twelve days of innovative protesting including a three hour cavalcade around the Oshawa car and truck assembly plants and a massive protest march. It forced GM to the table.

Oshawa, Ontario
July 28, 2008

       On Monday, July 28, 2008 the Canadian Auto Workers union won its grievance fight by getting the company to sign a landmark closure agreement. At an information meeting in Oshawa Peter Kennedy, assistant to CAW Secretary-Treasurer Jim O'Neil applauded the members for their solidarity.

Peter Kennedy
Assistant to CAW Secretary-Treasurer

       "What we were able to do here with General Motors in this negotiation to resolve a grievance is unprecedented. And is only able to occur; only happened because of the strength and solidarity shown by this membership in taking over and occupying the front of GM headquarters and bringing not only local, national, regional attention to General motors, but international attention. And I can tell you that GM workers around the world were inspired by what they saw happening on Col. Sam Drive and you are to be congratulated for that."
       CAW Local 222 president Chris Buckley thanked the membership for staying on the job and letting the leadership fight the company.

Chris Buckley
CAW Local 222 President

       "We have made the very best of a very terrible situation. As a union we can't force General Motors to produce vehicles they can't sell. No arbitrator or judge in the country can force General motors to do that either. But as a union we did stick to our principles that GM owes us work or wages."
       The agreement allows workers with 26 years at GM to grow into their pensions while getting 65% of their pay, a $35,000 car voucher and a cash payment ranging from $50,000 to $80,000.

Keith Osborne
Oshawa Plant Chair

       "You don't have to be 55. As long as you have 26 years as of July 1, 2009 you get a 26-year grow-in and there is no cap on these. Nobody is going to be disappointed saying I never made the cut. You apply for any of these, you are guaranteed to get it."
       In addition to the monetary settlement were product commitments, in writing, from GM for the car plant.
       Chris Buckley said the new work ensures the near future for GM workers in Oshawa, and the grievance settlement takes care of the workers losing their jobs in the truck plant.

Chris Buckley
CAW Local 222 President

       "Right now we have approximately 1,500 members who have 30 years service and are retirement eligible. If you look at the grow-in package, we have an additional 1,400 or so that are in the categories that they can grow into retirement. So that will more than absorb the job loss that we will experience when the truck plant closes its doors, and it will more than absorb the laid off employees that we have on the street. I'm hopeful that we will be able to take care of everybody."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."

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