CAW Wins Navistar Strike

July 16, 2002


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CAW Wins Navistar Strike
CAW Wins Navistar Strike
dated July 16, 2002

Doug Deneau
CAW 127 Bargaining Chair

       "We do have a contract. The entire plant has voted now and it is a majority vote and we do have the contract."

      

With these words CAW Local 127 Bargaining Chair Doug Deneau announced the end of the brutal 7-week strike at the Navistar International Truck and Engine plant in Chatham Ontario. Despite the company's use of goons, intimidation and brute force, the workers, with the help of CAW members from locals throughout southwestern Ontario, stopped company scabs from reaching the plant. The workers won their fight against the company's demands for $14 million in concessions. The new two-year agreement has no concessions in wages, benefits, vacation, SPA, or hours of work. Over 90 per cent voted in favour of the contract. CAW National President Buzz Hargrove credited the solidarity of the members with the victory. He paid tribute to the six CAW Local 444 members, in particular Don Milner who remains in critical condition in hospital, injured by a van driven by a company goon.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "Our union will stand shoulder to shoulder with the Milner family in hopes of returning him to full health and in full support to make sure this family doesn't suffer as a result of these scabs and goons."

       Hargrove said the Navistar fight sends a message to Ontario Premier Ernie Eves and to corporations.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "To the government it says that the laws in this country, in this province are unfair. There is no way that the workers should have the legal right to strike and the employer to be able to hire scabs, and bring in goons and thugs to intimidate the workers, their families and communities. They should outlaw the hiring of scabs. And they should outlaw the corporation's right to bring in goons and thugs into a community. And we're going to fight like hell to ensure that happens."
       "Our message to the Big 3 and others is that we are ready to use the 30's and 40's tactics if necessary. That's not our preference. We'd like to bargain. We know how to do it and do it well. But we are going to fight to look after and protect the interests of our members, their families and the communities that they live in." 


       Despite the fact the contract only ensures the plant in Chatham cannot be closed for a year, bargaining chair Deneau is confident about the future.

Doug Deneau
CAW 127 Bargaining Chair

       "This is the most efficient plant they have to build this product. Why would they ever shut us down? They would have to be out of their minds. I don't think it would ever happen. I don't believe it's going to happen and so therefore I think that we will get through to the better times and be able to bargain a better contract in 2004."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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