Alloy Wheel Workers Victimized by Company

Barrie Ontario

January 25, 2001


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Alloy Wheel Workers Victimized by Company
Alloy Wheel Workers
Victimized by Company
dated January 25, 2001

Alloy Wheel Workers Victimized by Company
Barrie Ontario, January 19, 2001
       The 440 CAW members employed by Alloy Wheel International have been victimized by the company which put itself into bankruptcy today. After weeks of negotiations with the company aimed at trying to find a way to keep the plant going, Local 1991's bargaining committee reported back to it's members that the company only wanted to shift the blame onto the workers for shutting the plant down.

Hemi Mitic
Assistant to CAW National President
       "That's what they were trying to portray to the rest of the world and in fact it was their own mismanagement."

       Hemi Mitic, assistant to CAW National President told the members the federal and provincial government is as much to blame as the company. He explained that changes the Harris government made in Ontario's Labour laws eliminated severance pay protection for workers.

Hemi Mitic
Assistant to CAW National President
       "Firstly the Harris government gives them an extra 3 or 4 million dollars and allows them to close the plant down. The Auto Pact is no longer in existence. There is no penalty for bringing auto parts in from off shore or anywhere else.
       So, as we said quite some time ago, the rule changes don't change the ingredients immediately. But as the companies start planning their future production, where the sites are going to be and how the rules are, if there are no rules they will do whatever the hell they want. And we are the victims of that without question."


       Mitic outlined to the members the efforts the union bargaining committee made to try and save the plant. He said the company refused to even present a proposal to General Motors that could have saved the plant.

Hemi Mitic
Assistant to CAW National President
       "They simply sucked out money from the plant and sent it overseas. Rather than investing it in new machinery and investing in the work force they decided to leave town."

       While the worker's pensions are guaranteed, how much, if any severance pay and when it will arrive remains unknown.

Hemi Mitic
Assistant to CAW National President



       "The future here doesn't look very good right now. There is a possibility that we will run out some wheels for Volkswagen. That might last five or six weeks. Perhaps there might be another buyer in the wings. But, reality is that that is a remote possibility, but we are going to continue to try. In the meantime, we are going to help our members in every way possible."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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