First Agreement at Dana Holdings in Chatham

January 11, 2011, 1:23 PM EST

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CAW Local 127 members at auto parts maker Dana in Chatham, Ontario have overwhelmingly approved a first contract, which includes wage and pension improvements and resists a two-tier wage system.

The workers voted 92 per cent in favour of the three-year agreement, which includes lump sum gains in year one and two and a two per cent raise in year three. In addition there were pension gains. The agreement also includes Paid Education Leave, a Womens' Advocate, as well as severance and plant closure language. It also resolves seniority issues and adds recall rights.

Plant chairperson Fred Smids said the solidarity of the membership and hard work of the bargaining committee ensured a flexible, fair and equitable agreement was hammered out. "This is an agreement that will help ensure a strong future for the company in Chatham and greater job security for our membership," said Smids.

CAW Local 127 President Aaron Neaves said these workers decided they needed a union and have now overwhelmingly voted on a new contract, which promises to be the foundation for a stronger future. "This is a good step forward for these workers."

The CAW represents approximately 50 workers at the plant, which produces automotive heat shields. After a lengthy organizing drive the bargaining unit was certified in the fall of 2010.  

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