Closure Agreement at Parts Maker ArvinMeritor

March 4, 2009, 3:44 PM EST


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CAW Local 1941 members who work at truck brake parts maker ArvinMeritor in Tilbury, Ontario have ratified a closure agreement at the facility slated to close June 3.

Unit chairperson Mike Byrne said the company employed 250 workers, 140 of which were still active at the time of the announcement.

The agreement will provide $3000 per year of service, plus extended benefits for six months to two years depending on seniority.

Byrne said it's another tough blow for the community, but stressed the membership and leadership worked hard to save the plant.

He blasted the federal Tories and Chatham-Kent Essex MP Dave Van Kesteren for not taking on trade policy issues that are destroying the manufacturing sector in Canada.

"When you've got truck manufacturers shifting operations to Mexico and our own federal government buying trucks that will be made in Texas, it's not surprising there's little work in this country for companies which make truck parts," Byrne told the Windsor Star.

He said it's a race to the bottom "facilitated by our own government's lack of action in protecting Canadian jobs."

Jerry Dias, assistant to the CAW President, said immediate action is needed from federal politicians to start dealing with the gutting of the manufacturing sector and the loss of good jobs.

"It's critical that Canada's manufacturing sector remain with a solid base so that when the economy turns the corner there will be jobs not only for today's workforce, but also for future generations," Dias said.

Work at the plant is starting to wind down now and the final closure will occur on June 3.

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