CAW Builds Joint Effort to Reverse Sterling Truck Closure

October 17, 2008

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Please note that you will need a copy of Windows Media Player installed on your computer in order to view the following video file(s).

Download a Windows Media version (.wmv)

Download a compressed version (.zip)

CAW Builds Joint Effort to Reverse Sterling Truck Closure
CAW Builds Joint Effort to Reverse Sterling Truck Closure
dated October 17, 2008

St. Thomas, Ontario
October 17, 2008

       The Canadian Auto Workers union has helped build a joint effort to save the Sterling Truck plant in St. Thomas Ontario. At a special meeting at St. Thomas City Hall, CAW President Ken Lewenza, national staff and CAW Local 1001 leadership met with municipal, provincial and federal politicians and members of the St. Thomas Economic Development Corporation.

Ken Lewenza
CAW President

       "If we were here a month ago or two months ago we might have already presented an excellent case, that I believe based on our consultation process this morning, all of us came up with some ideas in terms of how we prepare that business case.
       So it is frustrating for us and I say to Steve and Joe, it is not always about money, it is also about some legislative requirements to protect the interests of workers and give us the opportunity to talk about these issues."

       During discussions with the five stake holders, CAW economist Jim Stanford suggested that Daimler Truck may be basing their decision on outdated information.

Jim Stanford
CAW Economist

       "One of the assumptions that's crucial would have been the dollar. If they made that decision a month ago versus making it today, well that is 15 per cent or more and most of the economists expect the dollar to come back down to 80 or below in the next few months. So there is a crucial factor that I don't think they've necessarily adjusted for."

       The opportunity for government funding also needs to be considered. Conservative MP for Elgin-Middlesex-London Joe Preston and Liberal MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London Steve Peters assured the union and the municipal leaders that government assistance was available.

Joe Preston
MP Elgin-Middlesex-London

       "We've already have established the Automotive Innovation Fund. The Community Development Trust Fund we established in one of the previous budgets, the capital cost allowance situation for Canadian manufacturers has been established in previous budgets. It's all there for them."

Steve Peters
MPP Elgin-Middlesex-London

       "Right now, I'm with Joe. This is our friends and our neighbours who are hurting and it is incumbent on all of us to do everything that we possibly can and remove any barriers that may exist and that we demonstrate very clearly to Daimler that this is a unified front and that we are all in this to preserve this plant."

       The mood among the workers at Sterling was described as one of shock and dismay.

Gerald McCormick
CAW Local 1001

       "I walk that floor and I'm getting a lot of it from everywhere that the guys are scared. And it is hard. You go home and your wife is concerned, the kids are concerned. They don't want to leave this community but they may not have a choice. That scares everybody."

Dave MacArthur
Sterling Plant Chair

       "The bottom has fallen out for them. Looking for answers that we don't have for them yet. It is very sombre at the moment, you know for all of us."

       Lewenza said getting Daimler to reverse the closure decision is critical.

Ken Lewenza
CAW President

       "Twenty-one hundred jobs in this community and the spin off jobs in small businesses and related industries are enormous. So it is the life blood of this community. It is as simple as that. It is important to our union. Its membership is important to our union and to the community it would be devastating if we can't reverse this decision."

       With the backing of the local, provincial and federal government, CAW President Ken Lewenza and Local 1001 leadership will meet with Daimler Truck in Detroit on October 21st in an effort to get the company to reverse their decision.

CAW Fighting Back Makes A Difference.

Print Print  Send to a friend Send to a friend  Feedback Feedback