Navistar/International Truck and Engine Bargaining Report

Navistar/International Truck and Engine Bargaining Report

Navistar/International Truck and Engine Bargaining Report


Drawing a line in the sand.
Fighting Back Makes a Difference.


CAW Local 127 - Setting The Stage For The New Century.
(A message from CAW President Buzz Hargrove)

The struggle at International Truck is unlike any other struggle our union has had in the last 50 years. A major multinational, US based corporation, International Truck, attempted to break a legal strike in a large assembly plant by bringing in scabs.

With concessions demands that forced us out on strike, the corporation chose to taunt the workforce by hiring large numbers of goons and thugs to bring the buses of scabs through the picket line.

The leadership and membership of CAW Local 127 displayed tremendous courage and resolve in their determination to stand their ground, turn back the scabs, and remain firm in their right to strike for a fair settlement.

CAW local union leadership, activists and members from Windsor, Tilbury, St. Thomas, London, Woodstock, Ingersoll as well as Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo, stood solidly in support of your strike.

The community stood with you and your fight became one for the CAW nation-wide.

The entire union understood the importance of this struggle and at my request remained on alert to down tools at a moment's notice and head to Chatham to join with you.

A member of CAW Local 444 paid a heavy price for his support when he was purposely run down by one of International Truck's hired thugs. Our heart goes out to Brother Don Milner and his young family. I want to pledge to Brother Don Milner and his family, that International Truck workers as well as our total union will stand solidly with them through this most difficult period. We must all commit ourselves to continue the fight to re-establish anti-scab legislation in the province of Ontario.

I join with my assistant Bob Chernecki, your chairperson, Doug Deneau and your elected bargaining committee in unanimously endorsing this tentative settlement. Your victory here is one which our entire membership applauds. It reaffirms our strength as a union and will go down in history as setting the stage for the new century. We will not be moved, we will not back down in the face of corporate arrogance. Once again, fighting back has made a difference in our lives, the lives of our families and our communities.

On behalf of the total union, congratulations and thanks to all involved.

Local 127 Takes On Scab Legislation
(A message from Doug Deneau, Plant Chairperson, on behalf of your Bargaining Committee

Our Union entered the 2002 bargaining with International Truck and Engine facing some serious threats from this Company. Since December 2001 International workers have worked under the threat of plant closure, and talks of $14 million dollars in concessions. Your Bargaining Committee recognizes the strengths of this membership. We know CAW Local 127 is a productive, efficient and adaptable workforce. We are their lowest cost producers and have the lowest HPU's (hours per unit) of all International Truck facilities. We believe we have a long and viable future. CAW Local 127 knows trucks.

From opening day onwards, the talks centered on how we as a membership could find the Company savings totalling in the millions. As the weeks approaching deadline slipped by, the Company demands grew more aggressive. Demands were tabled calling for reductions in wages, benefits, and vacations. Attacks were leveled on issues related to seniority, representation and safety. There was not one single article in our Collective Agreement that was left untouched.

By midnight of May 31, 2002 we were on strike. Fences were erected around our plant and security was brought in by the van load. Overnight, the facility at 508 Richmond Street in Chatham was turned into a fortress. The membership stood together strong in SOLIDARITY. We would not accept concessions to our wages, benefits and vacations. On June 19, 2002 International Truck reached a new low and became the first assembly plant in Ontario to try on the 1995 changes to legislation with SCABS. International Truck, who has preached Respect for People since 1997 would now prove to CAW Local 127, and our community, exactly what that meant to them.

Hired goons from 10 different security firms manned our gates and our plant. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week they videotaped our members, provoked confrontations on our picket lines, and harassed our members. As the tension mounted on our lines our determination grew. SCABS would never enter Chatham-Kent.

Support poured in from across the province, across the country and across the world. CAW Local 127 stood proud under the International spotlight. Day after day the Company attempted to bring in SCAB workers to steal our jobs. This membership did an outstanding job showing them the meaning of UNION SOLIDARITY. In the wee hours of the morning, or round the clock, this membership was there. Brothers and Sisters joined us daily in our fight, coming from Windsor, London, Tilbury, Woodstock, St. Thomas, Kitchener and beyond, to stand beside us.

June 24, 2002 became a day that will live on in labour history. On that morning Brother Don Milner from Local 444 was run down in broad daylight by International Truck's hired goons. Brother Milner and five other brothers were run over and left lying in the street. They were with us, supporting us in our fight against this Company and the Conservative Government's unfair laws. Brother Milner, you are in our thoughts and prayers. We wish you the strength and courage in your continuing battle for physical health.

Today we are proud to announce a tentative agreement to this membership.


  • Two (2) year Agreement.


The Company had 20 pages of concessionary demands.

  • NO concessions in wages
  • NO concessions in benefits
  • NO concessions in vacation
  • NO concessions in SPA
  • NO concessions in hours of work
  • NO scabs in Chatham.


  • Running COLA starting September 2002 with 8 hits over the life of the Agreement.
  • Should inflation remain at 1.6% the first year and 2.2% the second year, it would generate .79¢ per hour over the two year period.


Effective June 1, 2003

  • Class A, B & C......$80 increase in base
  • Class D $105........increase in base
  • Class A, B & C.......$1.40 Life Time Basic
  • Class D................$1.95 Life Time Basic
  • Pre-87.................$0.70
  • Post-87................PCOLA


The Bargaining Committee was able to secure a guarantee in writing that the Company would not close prior to June 1, 2003.

The present notice of consideration for closure would continue and expire in April of 2003.

This was a very difficult issue, and the Committee fought hard in their attempts to resolve this issue.


Letter 44 - Retirement Allowance Option ($42,500.00)

  • Outsourcing will not exceed 43 jobs during the term of the Collective Agreement
  • There will be no outsourcing of jobs after the 43 buyouts for the duration of the Collective Agreement.
  • The Company demanded 127 jobs be outsourced. We were able to save 84 from being outsourced.


Letter # 88

  • Transition period of 90 days for the Company to comply with the 70/30 provisions of the letter.
  • After the transition period the 70/30 provisions will be monitored on a quarterly basis.


  • Four weeks of SPA during the life of the Agreement, inclusive of the current SPA period.
  • SPA will no longer be outside of the Collective Agreement.


  • Present work week remains the same.
  • Company can schedule 5 hours of mandatory overtime on Saturdays, but must provide 15 days notice.
  • No mandatory Saturday overtime can be scheduled on negotiated long weekends.


  • The balance of the current VTEP fund will be utilized to establish a contingency fund in the event of a plant closure.


  • Over $50,000.00 in grievance awards for production and skilled trades members.
  • A number of disciplinary grievances resolved.


  • We have an agreement in writing that there will be no discipline and/or discharges as a result of any picket line incidences.
    (see attachment)

Your Bargaining Committee unanimously recommends acceptance of this agreement. The Bargaining Committee would not have been able to achieve this tentative package without the full support of the leadership, membership of Local 127, and the union has a whole.

In solidarity,
Your Bargaining Committee

Doug Deneau
Rick O'Rourke
Ken Warnock
Committee Person
Rhona Stewart
Committee Person
Greg Caron
Committee Person
Randy Amaro
Committee Person
Charles Cowell
Skilled Trades
Charlie Formosa
CAW Local 127 President
Joe McCabe
National Representative
Robert Chernecki
Assistant to the President

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