Plant Occupation ends with severance deal for Steelworkers at Collins and Aikman

    MISSISSAUGA and PORT HOPE, ON, June 19 /CNW/ - After an almost -24-hour
work stoppage and occupation, an interim settlement has been reached by
members of the United Steelworkers (USW) at two auto parts factories owned by
US-based Collins and Aikman Corporation in Port Hope and Mississauga.
    The settlement secures full severance pay with an $11.5-million escrow
fund, provides for an immediate return to work with no loss in pay for time
lost during the dispute, a guarantee of no reprisals from the company, and
calls for immediate bargaining between the union and the company for a full
closure agreement.
    USW Assistant to the Director Marie Kelly said Tuesday, "This is an
unprecedented settlement that addresses our members' legal rights in a way
that gives them confidence that their money will be safeguarded. These members
showed great courage and solidarity. This is a wonderful achievement under
truly stressful conditions.
    "Of course, the real issue for them and for thousands of workers across
Ontario is the continued loss of good manufacturing jobs. And the McGuinty
government just doesn't get it.
    "These working people have given years of service to this company and,
due to no fault of their own, are facing possible unemployment. They deserved
clarity and security from their employer and now they have it."
    At the start of morning shifts on Monday (June 18), employees at the two
auto parts factories walked off the job in frustration at the lack of talks
with management over plant closure details dealing with their collective
agreement and legal rights.
    The two plants are at risk of closure later this year as Collins and
Aikman undergoes restructuring.
    The USW and the company will now negotiate a complete closure agreement
to address remaining issues.
    The two Collins and Aikman facilities mainly supply auto makers such as
Chrysler. There are 150 employees at the Mississauga plant and in Port Hope
there are 350 active employees and about 300 currently laid off.

    The USW represents more than 280,000 men and women working in every
sector of Canada's economy.

For further information:

For further information: Marie Kelly, (416) 705-3627, (905) 601-5151

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