TORONTO, Jan. 21 /CNW/ - Following months of uncertainty, the bargaining
committees from CAW Local 35 and CAW Local 127 met with senior levels
of management from Navistar yesterday in Windsor, Ontario. The meeting
was requested by the union, as part of its ongoing attempt to have
Navistar reopen the Chatham truck facility. The corporation has been
demanding massive concessions, significantly reducing the production
and jobs at the facility. This facility once employed over 2000 workers
and now risks being reduced to less than 100 workers. The corporation
maintains that the plant will only be used for cab production, with no
trim or paint facilities being utilized. To add insult to injury, the
popular Class 8 Prostar and Lonestar which were engineered and built in
Chatham will no longer be built there. These were premium trucks that
had top quality and were well received by consumers.
CAW President Ken Lewenza said that it is an absolute disgrace,
given particularly that the corporation received over $63 million from
both federal and provincial governments. In addition, it received $40
million of concessions from the workers in the last round of
Lewenza said that there was no meaningful discussion yesterday, as the
corporation maintained their irresponsible position on all outstanding
items. The focus of the bargaining committee continues to be to reach a
fair and responsible agreement that includes a long term commitment by
the employer for jobs in this facility. The plant has not operated
since June 2009 and there continues to be more than 800 workers and
their families left out in the cold by this multi-national corporation.
Lewenza was adamant that Navistar, and the federal and provincial
governments have an obligation to these workers, their families and the
community of Chatham.
"It remains absolutely unacceptable that this corporation received
millions of dollars from tax payers and then pulls up stakes and moves
the work to Mexico and the United States, leaving the Chatham plant a
shell of what it once was," said Lewenza.
"These issues cannot be resolved at the bargaining table. The federal
and provincial governments must also answer to the
taxpayers, the workers, the retirees and their families, as to why
Navistar is allowed to abandon their commitment to this community. The
power of government must be used to force Navistar to live up to their
obligations to these workers and the City of Chatham," said Lewenza.
There are no future dates scheduled for meetings between the parties.
SOURCE Canadian Auto Workers
For further information:
contact CAW Communications, John McClyment, cell, 416-315-3202 or Shannon Devine, cell, 416-302-1699.