DaimlerChrysler Agreement Ratified - Government Action Demanded
October 20, 2002
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DaimlerChrysler Agreement Ratified-Government Action Demanded
dated October 22, 2002
Oct. 20, 2002
The 12,000 DaimlerChrysler workers in Windsor, Brampton and Etobicoke ratified the new three year agreement with the company by an overall vote of 91 per cent. The agreement includes the pattern of 3, 3 and 2 per cent wage increases, a $1,000 signing bonus, a $1,500 Christmas bonus, 28 additional hours of vacation, and increased production at the Windsor mini van plant which, combined with early retirement, will mean no layoffs when the Pillette Road plant closes. The company also committed to building a green site plant in Windsor.
DaimlerChrysler Bargaining Chair Ken Lewenza said the union and the company have done their job, now it's the government's turn.
DaimlerChrysler Bargaining Chair
"The job is not over. We've got to go to the government and say to the government of the land "You lost the sprinter which went to the southern part of the United States because you refused to give an incentive. You've lost all kinds of manufacturing jobs because you believe Canada is a good place to invest because supposedly our health care program and our Canadian dollar, but yet we are still losing thousands of jobs. I say to the federal government on behalf of our members "get off your ass because our union has done its job now you must do your job." And our members must mobilize around us on this particular issue."
CAW National President Buzz Hargrove told the ratification meeting in Windsor that the Navistar decision to close the Chatham Ontario plant and move the jobs to Mexico is a direct result of a lack of an auto policy in Canada.
CAW National President
"They are leaving their plants open in the United States in spite of the fact that their labour costs are 25% higher than they are in Canada.
"They are leaving the American plants open. Closing the Canadian plants. Why? Because the Americans defend American workers, American jobs and American interests. Where the hell is the Canadian government in defending Canadian workers' jobs, Canadian workers' interests brothers and sisters?"
Later that day, speaking at the ratification meeting in Brampton, Hargrove urged the government to take action against Navistar and other offshore producers.
CAW National President
"We are saying to our government that anyone who doesn't invest and put jobs in Canada should only sell here if they pay a huge penalty over and above those who do build and sell in this country."
"If you've got any political guts at all, you ought to notify Navistar that if you take our jobs and move them to Mexico by God you'll never sell another car or truck in this country. Brothers and sisters that is the kind of action that we need."
CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."