CAW Ratifies New Agreement at Northstar, Ends Strike

November 11, 2011, 3:45 PM EST

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CAW Local 112 members at Northstar Aerospace have today ratified a new three-year collective agreement by a margin of 75 percent, marking the end of a 30-day strike at the company's Market Drive facility in Milton, Ontario.

CAW Local 112 President Roland Kiehne said the new deal is a victory for the 135 members employed at the manufacturing facility. The union successfully maintained the workers' cost-of-living allowance (COLA) and bargained new job security language, two main sticking points during the month-long dispute.

"Right from the onset of contract talks our members resolved to protect their COLA and win new job security, in the face of aggressive company concession demands," Kiehne said. "Today, we can proudly say that our members wishes have been signed, sealed and delivered."

In addition to retaining quarterly cost-of-living adjustments the union bargained groundbreaking language that commits Northstar to maintain a "stable workforce" at the Milton facility, that otherwise might be impacted by the subcontracting or transferring out of work.

CAW Aerospace Director Dawn Cartwright said that commitment ensures a stable flow of product into the facility for the duration of Northstar's lucrative contract with Boeing to produce parts for the Apache Block-3 helicopter.

"This job security provision is unlike any we've negotiated before at Northstar," Cartwright said. "It offers a sense of stability and certainty for these members in an otherwise unstable economy."

The recent strike was the longest in the facility's 18-year history, but the end result justified the means, according to CAW Northstar Plant Chairperson Graham Davies.

"Despite the huge financial and emotional toll this strike took on our members and their families, we can proudly say we never wavered on our fundamental demands," Davies said.

"Our members have seen, first hand, that fighting back does make a difference. The feeling of solidarity and pride in our union that was built during this challenging time is electric, and has instilled in us so much hope and optimism for a brighter future."

Northstar Aerospace produces helicopter gears and transmissions as well as other fabricated parts.  The new contract is set to expiry on Sept 30, 2014.

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