Mississauga Toyota Workers End Strike, Ratify No-Concessions Agreement

August 28, 2008, 10:58 AM EST

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CAW Local 252 members on strike at Mississauga Toyota voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new collective agreement at a ratification meeting held at the Local 252 union hall on August 27.

The successful ratification means the members will head back to work at the dealership after 3 months on the picket line, one of the longest strikes in the history of CAW Local 252.

The 18-member unit was locked in a bitter dispute with Mississauga Toyota dealership owner Joe Gubasta, who had demanded major wage and benefit concessions, including a two-tier wage system for certain classifications, as well as a removal of work hour guarantees and other cuts.

"We said from the outset that we would not accept a deal that included wage and benefit concessions for our members and we stayed true to our word," said Bargaining Committee Chairperson Carlos Mestre.

The new agreement includes wage increases in each year of the agreement, benefit gains, guaranteed work hour protection language for mechanics, and other improvements.

With only 12 members leading the picket line for much of the strike, their perseverance and determination to fight back concessions and reach a new agreement is truly inspirational, said CAW National Representatives Sukhvinder Johl.

"This agreement proves that even a small group of committed individuals can make a difference if they are willing to stand up and fight," Johl said.

The Mississauga Toyota workers were joined on the picket line by fellow CAW members from across south-western Ontario, many of whom attended the August 27 ratification meeting in a show of solidarity.

The dealership, located just west of Toronto, has been unionized since the mid 1960s.

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