CAW Urges Further Bargaining at Navistar



    CHATHAM, ON, June 18 /CNW/ - CAW negotiators have advised Navistar Truck
in Chatham, Ontario of the union's intention to bargain beyond the expiry of
the current collective agreement on June 30 at 12:01 a.m.
    In a June 17 letter to Navistar Vice President of Manufacturing Dave
Beebe and Thomas Hennigan, Navistar's director of employee relations, the
union states it will not exercise the right to strike at the deadline.
    "We firmly believe the parties may also require the services of mediation
as they move through these difficult negotiations," states the letter signed
by the Master Bargaining Committees, including Cathy Wiebenga, CAW Local 127
chairperson and Sonny Galea, CAW Local 35 chairperson.
    "The union proposes a 90 day extension to the current collective
agreement while the parties attempt to find a solution to these difficult
negotiations."
    The CAW outlines strong dissatisfaction with company plans to lay off
active workers at the facility, while third party suppliers replace them on
current operations. The two locals have more than 800 CAW members on lay off
currently and the company proposal would see the current active workforce cut
to less than 100. "This change, means the lay off will exceed 1000 workers,"
the CAW states.
    The Chatham workforce has historically produced top quality products for
Navistar and the launches of the Prostar and Lonestar were major success
stories that significantly raised market share in heavy trucks.
    In addition, in 2003 workers agreed to significant change in their
collective agreement and sacrificed income to show commitment to the plant and
products they build. The federal and provincial governments injected millions
of dollars in an attempt to provide long term security and jobs in the
community.
    "It would be in the best interest of the workers, their families and the
community for the parties to continue in earnest to reach an agreement without
the threat of a dispute by either party," the CAW states.

    Please find a full copy of the letter below.

    
    June 17, 2009

    Dave Beebe                              Thomas Hennigan
    Vice President, Manufacturing           Director, Employee Relations
    Navistar Inc.                           Navistar Inc.
    4949 Urbana Road                        4949 Urbana Road
    Springfield, Ohio                       Springfield, Ohio
    USA 45502                               USA 45502

    Greetings,

    Re: Negotiations
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    As you are well aware, the parties have been in extensive discussions
concerning the above matter. From the onset of these negotiations the Union
has expressed their desire to reach a collective agreement without a dispute.
The corporation, through their demands, has notified the CAW Local 127 and
Local 35, that the production at the facility will significantly change
including a reduction in the production and manpower levels. According to the
employers proposal, active workers at the facility will be laid off while
third party suppliers replace them on current operations.
    The Union has expressed our considerable dissatisfaction with this
proposal and have attempted to highlight legitimate concerns about this
significant change. The memberships of both locals currently on lay off exceed
800 CAW members. In addition, the Corporation's proposal would see the current
active workforce reduced to less than 100. This change, means the lay off will
exceed 1000 workers.
    There can be no dispute; the Chatham workforce has historically produced
top quality products for the Navistar Corporation. The launches of the Prostar
and Lonestar were a success story and significantly raised the market share in
heavy trucks and are the corner stone of the truck segment for the
corporation. These workers and their families deserve to have full employment
and a measure of job security.
    In 2003, workers agreed to a significant amount of changes in their
collective agreement and have sacrificed their personal incomes in attempts to
show their commitment to the plant and the products they build. The federal
and provincial Governments injected millions of dollars in an attempt to
provide long term security that was designed to secure jobs within the
community. The 'spin-off' effect of these jobs is 4-5 to 1. These workers,
their families and the community deserve to be treated fairly. Your current
proposal fails to recognize the efforts of these workers.
    The corporation's proposals have polarized these negotiations and the
parties remain significantly apart on these key issues. It would be in the
best interest of the workers, their families and the community for the parties
to continue in earnest to reach an agreement without the threat of a dispute
by either party.
    Therefore, the CAW advises Navistar of their intention to bargain beyond
the expiry of the collective agreement on June 30th at 12:01 a.m. In short, we
will not be exercising the right to strike. We firmly believe the parties may
also require the services of mediation as they move through these difficult
negotiations. The union proposes a 90 day extension to the current collective
agreement while the parties attempt to find a solution to these difficult
negotiations.

    
    We look forward to a positive response and dialogue.

    Sincerely,

    Master Bargaining Committees, CAW Local 35 and CAW Local 127

    Cathy Wiebenga                       Sonny Galea
    Chairperson, Local 127               Chairperson, Local 35

    Joe McCabe                           Robert Chernecki
    CAW National Representative          Assistant to the President
    




For further information:

For further information: Bob Chernecki, assistant to the CAW president,
cell (416) 543-7084; or Cathy Wiebenga, Local 127 Chairperson, cell (519)
809-4603; or Sonny Galea, Local 35 Chairperson, cell (519) 809-2240

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