Buhler-Versatile Workers Win at Labour Board

June 7, 2001


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Buhler-Versatile Workers Win At Labour Board
Buhler-Versatile Workers Win At Labour Board
dated June 7, 2001

       CAW Local 2224 has won a major victory in their battle with Buhler Versatile to save the jobs at Canada's only tractor manufacturing plant.
       The Manitoba Labour Relations Board, after twelve days of hearing evidence, has ruled that the company had not bargained in good faith.

       The 251 workers went on strike November 3rd after the company refused to bargain fairly. When they agreed to return to work in March the company illegally locked them out.
       Throughout the seven and a half months the workers have maintained complete solidarity.

Dale Paterson
CAW Area Director

       "Not one, not one employee of Buhler Versatile has returned to work in the over seven months on the picket line and that's a compliment to this membership and I congratulate them for that. Applause".

       The fight is continuing. Armed with the Board decision CAW Local 2224's bargaining committee is willing to return to the bargaining table

Scott McLaren
CAW Local 2224 Bargaining Chairperson

       "If Mr. Buhler wants to sit down and negotiate then we are prepared to do that. We don't think he is, but we are prepared to do that.

       If the company refuses to negotiate a settlement, and keep the plant open, the CAW will press its demands to the Labour Relations Board to make Buhler Versatile pay damages of 20.7 million dollars, plus interest.

Garth Smorang
CAW Legal Counsel

       "We will be looking to some awards that have been given in other jurisdictions across this country where employers have been obliged by Labour Boards in other provinces to re-pay workers for all losses they have suffered as a result of wrongful acts. So that 20.7 millions dollars gets higher by 44,000 dollars each day and we will be asking the Board for full compensation."

       In the meantime Local 2224 members remain locked out while the bargaining committee is turning to the federal and provincial governments for their support in the fight against Buhler Versatile.

Scott McLaren
CAW Local 2224 Bargaining Chairperson

       "Now that we have the judgment we want, to go after the Federal government to pull its $32 million loan, to take this business away from him. Have the Federal and Provincial governments take it over in the interim until a buyer can be found, we will still pursue all of those avenues to make sure this plant stays in Manitoba."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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