Apex Metal Occupation Victory

July 28, 2000


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Apex Metal Occupation Victory
Apex Metal Occupation
Victory
dated July 25, 2000

Apex Metal Occupation Victory
July 25, 2000
       On July 20 the 110 workers at Apex Metal thought a new owner was going to take over the bankrupt company. Then they saw the management getting ready to ship out the tools and dies of their major customers. They decided to fight back to save their jobs. Fifty workers quickly occupied the plant and barricaded the entranceways.

Dawn Dawson
plant Chairperson, CAW Local 1524
       "We've had another company make an offer on us and the deal fell through last night at seven o'clock. So we have since then taken over the building. We're not letting Chrysler or Toyota, those are our two main customers, take any of their tools out without us getting some sort of severance."

       CAW members from nearby Lear and Budd plants rallied in support of the workers inside, effectively taking control of the property. They did allow management into the office area of the plant but their determination to get a fair deal for the workers was solid.

Dawn Dawson
plant Chairperson, CAW Local 1524

       "We're sticking here until we get something out of somebody, we don't care who pays us. You know the majority of our members have an average seniority of 12 years. We have some people here with 30 years seniority so why should they have put 30 years of their life into this building and walk away with nothing?"

       The bargaining committee and CAW national union staff began negotiating with Chrysler throughout the morning. By 2 in the afternoon, 19 hours after the occupation started an agreement as reached.

Hemi Mitic
Assistant to CAW National President
      
"We do have an agreement with the company to continue the operation until at least September the 8th.
       "Everybody will get paid or will have the opportunity to work until September the 8th that's the minimum. In other words they can't decide next week or two weeks from now that they're going to move one job out and lay some people off."

       The workers voted to accept the deal and the CAW members from other plants in the area were informed the occupation was over.

Hemi Mitic
Assistant to CAW National President

       "A number of years ago our union took up a slogan at a convention and that slogan was Fighting Back Makes a Difference. And one thing is sure, if we hadn't fought back as members; and if we couldn't have got the leadership and the membership in the other plants in this area to come out and support our members, without that fight back this place would be closed today sisters and brothers."

       The union will now work with Chrysler and the trustee to try and find a new owner for the company.

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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