CHATHAM, ON, June 30 /CNW/ - The CAW and Navistar have failed to reach a
collective agreement by the 12:01 a.m. deadline Tuesday as a direct result of
company demands for massive concessions and job cuts, CAW negotiators say.
Despite the failure to reach a new agreement by the deadline the union
remains open to further discussions and its bargaining committees continue to
push for equitable and fair agreements for the membership at the Chatham truck
CAW President Ken Lewenza said the employer is demanding massive
concessions and job cuts that will devastate CAW members and the entire
"We are determined to fight for these jobs and continued production at
this important Chatham employer," Lewenza said. "It's totally unacceptable for
the company to demand these massive concessions and to also propose to use
third party contract workers to handle much of the work that would remain
under their latest proposals," Lewenza said. "Despite those concerns we remain
determined to negotiate a new agreement."
The company's proposed job cuts would result in over 1000 workers at the
facility on lay off with little or no chance of recall. The bargaining
committees for CAW Local 127 (production and skilled trades) and CAW Local 35
(office and technical) have worked around the clock in an attempt to find a
CAW Local 127 Chairperson Cathy Wiebenga said the bargaining committee is
frustrated by the company's refusal to remove "outrageous demands" including
proposals to allow third party supplier clearance to perform bargaining unit
work, slash new hire compensation, eliminate cost of living adjustments and
significantly reduce health care benefits.
"Our members produce the best heavy trucks on the road today and they
will continue to do so if the company will recognize that work with a just
agreement," Wiebenga said.
CAW Local 35 Chairperson Sonny Galea said while some progress had been
made at the bargaining table, the two sides remain far apart of numerous key
issues. "We are working hard to ensure the future of this plant in Chatham,
but the company refuses to bargain meaningful change that would be acceptable
to our members," Galea said.
The union is scheduled to hold a membership meeting on July 1 to update
members on the negotiations, but its bargaining committees remain at the hotel
prepared to meet the company at any time to reach a fair agreement.
For further information:
For further information: John McClyment, CAW Communications, (cell)
(416) 315-3202; CAW Local 127 Plant Chairperson, Cathy Wiebenga, (519)
809-4603; or CAW Local 35 Office/technical unit chairperson, Sonny Galea,