CAW Dana Mount Forest Workers Ratify First Contract
Mount Forest, Ontario
March 28, 2008
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Following a boisterous ratification meeting in Mount Forest Ontario, on Friday March 28, 2008, the 270 workers at the Dana auto parts plant there ratified their first contract with the company. CAW Local 1524 president, Tim Mitchell, announced the outcome of the vote.
Pres. CAW Local 1524
"If I could have your attention. I just want to announce the results of the vote. I want to say congratulations. It was 140 in favour, 80 against for 67 per cent in favour."
In September of 2007, the workers voted to join the CAW by a slim margin of a few votes. The ratification margin shows the union has built support within the plant according to CAW area director Steve Farkas.
CAW Area Director
"Mount Forest we knew was going to be tough. The meeting today showed that but I think we were able to address all of the issues that the membership here wanted us to address based on what the bargaining committee was telling us."
Long time employees at Dana had this reaction to the contract.
"I think the contract or the agreement that we reached is very positive. And I think the union got us things that we normally wouldn't have gotten ourselves."
Doug Mc Arthur
13 year Dana worker
"Actually the union won me over. I spent a lot of years in the trade. I am an electrician and never was a union supporter."
13 year Dana worker
"I have never been in a union position before and from what I have heard so far it has been great. They have gotten a lot of stuff back for us that they have taken away from us."
The Mount Forest Dana workers joined the 190 CAW workers at the Dana plants in Oakville and Brantford who had earlier approved the contract by over 80 per cent. The workers are getting annual wage increases of 25, 30, and 35 cents an hour over the life of the contract, as well as having statutory holidays restored to 13 a year.
CAW National representative Jim Woods termed the agreement historical.
CAW National Rep.
"For us to continue to extend out to new workers and make gains like we did today here, it is just a wonderful statement to the rest of the parts industry. And it should invigorate the parts industry to continue to fight the corporate agenda that we are up against now."
The workers at the Mount Forest plant will now meet to elect their in plant representative and plant chair to work with the CAW in administering the new contract.
CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."