Auto Parts Workers Rally Across Ontario
November 1, 2010, 8:00 AM EST
CAW members in more than 100 auto parts workplaces took part in a series of lunchtime demonstrations outside their plants during a province-wide day of action on October 27. The protest was the culmination of months of planning and involved 15,000 workers across Ontario.
Parts workers called for a stop to the downward pressure on working conditions, employer demands for severe contract give-backs and demanded greater respect for work ownership, including the right to follow work in the event it is relocated to other facilities - with the collective agreement in tact.
CAW President Ken Lewenza told a crowd of 150 demonstrators in the parking lot of Burlington Technologies that cutting the wages and benefits of workers will not solve the uncertainty facing the parts industry.
Lewenza highlighted that demands on parts workers for concessions are not limited to unionized shops, as non-unionized workers often face much more severe cutbacks. In Canada, approximately 20,000 parts workers are union members while about 40,000 to 45,000 are not.
Lewenza urged government to introduce fairer unionization legislation, which would see card check certification reinstated in the province. "What's so difficult about putting in a law to allow workers to join a union without reprisal?" Lewenza asked. He also lambasted the government for allowing employers to use replacement workers during labour disputes and touched on the need to introduce fair severance and bankruptcy legislation.
This large-scale effort organized under the campaign Auto Parts Workers United, also included a massive outreach effort to non-unionized parts workers, including those employed by Magna.
For more information on the campaign or the Day of Action, please visit: http://www.caw.ca/en/9499.htm