CAW Wins Seniority Rights At Butcher Engineer In Windsor

Windsor, Ontario

May 3, 2005

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CAW Wins Seniority Rights At Butcher Engineer In Windsor
dated May 3, 2005

 May 1, 2005
Windsor, Ontario

       After over 10 weeks on the picket line, the 310 workers at Butcher Engineering in Windsor Ontario went to a ratification meeting, angry at the way their employer Dave Butcher has treated them.

        "This man has to be taught he can not keep doing this to us. He's doing it again and again and again and we're letting him get away with it."

       Bob Chernecki, assistant to CAW national president Buzz Hargrove, told the workers they wouldn't gain anything by staying out longer. 

Bob Chernecki
Assistant To CAW Nat. Pres.

       "You bargain the best deal that you can bargain. And after a ten, going on eleven-week strike, you've got to know that that employer is serious about the monetary offer. And our commitment to the workers was that we were going to get the best deal that we could bargain, bring it back to them for their perusal and for their final say."

       The company offer was ten cents an hour raise, every six months of the agreement, for a total increase of 50 cents over the life of the three year deal; This disappointed all the workers.

        "We need more money to live! $13.25 an hour is not enough to live, the way the cost of food and everything is today."

        "I'll be the first to say, "it sucks for ten cents. It sucks that we are going to be deducted on the $500 dollars." But you know what, use your mind not your heart and I agree with them."

       Along with wages, the fight for seniority rights was a key issue. A fight Chernecki, says the union won. 

Bob Chernecki
Assistant To CAW President

       "What was really important here, and the members clearly understand this now, is that seniority is there to stay and that no one will be disciplined as a result of their strike. Two key issues that were outstanding last week at a membership meeting that people said had to be fixed. And we fixed it."

       After two hours of discussions, the workers, most of whom are women, cast their ballots. Mike Reneau, CAW Local 195 president announced the outcome. 

Mike Reneau
CAW Local 195 Pres.

       "Okay guys, by a very narrow margin you do indeed have a new tentative agreement. There were 128 yes votes, 123 no votes and 1 spoiled ballot. The margin 51% in favour, so congratulations you have a new collective agreement."

       By approving the contract by a mere five votes, plant chair Cindy Jobin says the members are sending a message to their employer, Dave Butcher. 

Cindy Jobin
Plant Chair

       "It's clearly a message to the employer that this membership is unhappy with the working conditions; with the way that Dave Butcher treated them when the strike commenced."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."

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