National Solidarity Backs Striking Butcher Engineering Workers

Windsor, Ontario

April 29, 2005

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National Solidarity Backs Striking Butcher Engineering Workers
dated April 29, 2005

 April 26, 2005
Windsor, Ontario

       As the strike at Butchers Engineering in Windsor drags into its 11th week the 310 workers, most of whom are women, are determined to win their fight for decent wages and seniority rights. Sherry Hunter echoes the feelings of her sisters on the picket line.

 Sherry Hunter
CAW Local 195

       "I'm upset. I'm a single mom with two boys and it's very hard. We only get $215 on the picket line and that doesn't take you very far but I am will to stay out here as long as a have to."
       "I've been here almost 17 years and I'm going to fight for what I believe in. We deserve more that ten cents and seniority that's a big deal here too."

       The workers are not alone in their fight. The CAW national office has been putting pressure on Butcher's customers including Ford Motor Company, along with a show of solidarity by Ford workers, has made a difference according to Gerry Farnam, Vice President of CAW Local 195. 

Gerry Farnham
VP CAW Local 195

       "Ford Motor Company especially in Edmonton and I believe in the Toronto area where their depots are, the workers there, union brothers and sisters there, refused to unload the trucks so that put a lot of heat on to get us back to where we are at today."

       Ford switched to a new supplier and that forced Butcher Engineering back to the bargaining table. Bob Chernecki, assistant to CAW national president Buzz Hargrove said other CAW locals in Windsor have set up a $20,000 hardship fund for the strikers. 

Bob Chernecki
Assistant To CAW National President

       "This involves the total union, right from the top leadership of the union right down to the workers on that picket line, and boy, we're damned determined, and so are they, that we are going to get a decent settlement for these workers."

       The CAW organized Butchers Engineering seven years ago and has been fighting ever since to end favoritism and establish seniority rights. It's a fight plant chair Cindy Jobin says the workers are determined to win this time. 

Cindy Jobin
Butchers Engineering Plant Chair

       "Just over the last year, I, myself, have filed over 100 grievances, a lot of them relating to seniority issues. And the workers have sent us a clear message that this employer must and he should respect their seniority and their commitment and their obligation to this employer, and they have made it very clear that that has to be there this time around."

       Despite the inclement weather, the workers are on the picket lines, willing to stay out for as long as it takes.

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."

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