Freightliner Sterling Truck Certified After Ten Year Campaign

October 11, 2002

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Freightliner Sterling Truck Certified After Ten Year Campaign
Freightliner Sterling Truck Certified After Ten Year Campaign
dated October 11, 2002

Hemi Mitic
Assistant to CAW National President

       "There are 1,140 employees that were on the eligible list that we got from the company. We had submitted 773 cards."

       With that Hemi Mitic, assistant to CAW national president Buzz Hargrove announced the campaign to organize the Freightliner Sterling Truck plant in St Thomas, Ontario, has ended in victory.
       The workers are now members of the Canadian Auto Workers.

       A card check process saw 69.7 per cent of the over 1,100 workers at the plant sign union cards, bringing to a successful conclusion an organizing drive that began over ten years ago.
       Mitic credited some of the success to the neutrality agreement with DaimlierChrysler and the efforts of the CAW national leaders.

Hemi Mitic
Assistant to CAW National President

       "We had a commitment that we would not make negative statements towards each other. We wanted to start out on the right foot. Again a lot of that goes to the credit of Buzz and Jim O'Neil our secretary treasurer for forcing the issue on the DaimlerChrysler corporation and as a result we were able to put a package together that actually certifies the members here. It's the union working at all angles to get the job done."

       Mitic said the decision to join the CAW was not about wages but rather about the workers' right to fair treatment by management.
       The union will now establish a bargaining committee and prepare for negotiations for their first contract early in 2003.
       In the meantime the union activists are starting the process of building solidarity within the plant according to in plant organizer Matt Walters.

Matt Walters
Freightliner Sterling In-plant Organizer

       "Now more than ever it is important to set an example in your workmanship, in your attitude, your diplomacy inside the plant because this company will look, in my opinion, this company will look to you and this union as a crutch for all of their ineptness. So we need to set an example and take extra care in everything we do in there and not allow that to happen to our union."

       The new bargaining unit will represent all the production, maintenance, quality assurance, and material handling employees at the plant, which produces the Sterling truck brand heavy and medium-duty trucks.

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."

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