CAW Local 195 Members Ratify Agreement at Windsor Parts Makers

March 19, 2009, 2:26 AM EST

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After an occupation, blockade and rally, CAW Local 195 members who work at parts makers Aradco and Aramco in Windsor have ratified an agreement that will provide a significant portion of the severance, termination and vacation pay owed them.

In an emotional, boisterous meeting on March 19, workers voted unanimously in favour of the agreement.

Workers had occupied the Aradco Management Ltd. auto parts plant on March 17 to prevent Chrysler from removing parts and tooling until workers received termination and severance pay.

Union members from Windsor and other nearby communities surrounded the plant in support of the workers inside.

Catalina Precision Products, a U.S. based company, owns both Aradco and Aramco (a sister plant to Aradco), which are Windsor auto parts makers that primarily supplied Chrysler. Chrysler abruptly ended its contracts with Catalina and as a result the two Windsor plants were closed.

Jerry Dias, assistant to the CAW President, said the solidarity of the workers was key in getting an agreement. But Dias said too many other workers in plants across the country are facing these same problems.

"We need government action on these important issues for working people and their families," said Dias. "Unless government strengthens the law, the depth of the current recession means more workers and their families will be forced to grapple with the injustice of companies refusing to pay severance, vacation and termination monies owed."
CAW Local 195 President Gerry Farnham said it's a shame that this type of action was needed to get an agreement.

"Employers must be held accountable in these tough times and must honour their obligations to their workers. More needs to be done at the government level to ensure workers get what they are legally entitled to. We must ensure that workers go to the top of the list of creditors during a bankruptcy."

"I want to thank all the other local unions who helped out during this dispute," Farnham said.

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