Can Fab Occupation Victory

Stratford, Ontario

April 23, 1999

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Can Fab Occupation Victory
Can Fab Occupation Victory
dated April 23, 1999

Stratford Ontario
Months of stonewalling by management and then the layoff of 57 workers at the Can Fab seat cover plant in Stratford Ontario, was more than 600 members of CAW local 1325 were willing to take. Upon learning their jobs were being exported to Mexico the membership took matters into their own hands.

Susan Danner
CAW Local 1325 President

"We've put up with seeing our jobs go over the last couple of years since Johnson Controls has bought us and I guess now enough is enough and thankfully the membership realizes that this action had to be done."

Twenty-five CAW members peacefully entered the plant, barred the doors and occupied the facility.
The morning shift arrived to find themselves outside looking in.
The company's application for a court injunction was rejected because of a procedural mistake.
The Chrysler Bramalea plant, on the outskirts of Toronto, ran out of seat covers by Thursday afternoon.
After a marathon round of bargaining by telephone between the CAW and Johnson Controls in the United States, in Mexico; and finally across the table in Stratford an agreement was reached.

April 16, 1999
Hemi Mitic
Assistant to CAW National President

"The company has agreed that all lay off notices will be terminated. In other words all individuals who have received notices, there are 57, I think there are 49 who are actually going to be released from the plant will be re-instated."
"The Stratford operation will be the primary supplier of trim into the Bramalea plant which means the current jobs, the people who are working in the work place including those who were recently laid off will be working in the plant. Over and above that the company has agreed that for individuals who quit or retire from the workplace they will be replaced at a 75 per cent ratio, in other words if there is a hundred people leave the workplace as a result of quits and retirements there is a guarantee that they will recall 75 individuals to back fill those jobs."

The company also agreed there would be no reprisals or court action against the occupying workers.
Twenty-three hours after the occupation started the chains were removed and local 1325 members returned to the production line knowing that solidarity and the willingness to take action saved their jobs.

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."

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