Agreement at Bauer Industries Ends Blockade

February 25, 2009, 9:23 AM EST

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CAW members employed at auto parts maker Bauer Industries in Waterloo, Ontario have ended their blockade of the plant after an agreement was reached with management to pay all outstanding wages and vacation pay.

In addition, the company has agreed to pay its portion of outstanding pension contributions under the defined contribution pension plan.
The blockade was set up after the company attempted to remove finished product from the facility on February 20. At that time the workers had not received their last pay cheque, vacation or termination pay.

The 35 workers, represented by CAW Local 1524, were told on February 13 that there would be no work until further notice. The plant produced textiles for vehicle seats.
CAW staff representative Bruce Toman said the five-day old blockade was taken down after the company and union reached agreement.

"Unfortunately due to our outdated laws regarding severance and termination pay the workers are at the back of the line of creditors," Toman said. "These laws must be changed so that workers are moved to the top of the list."

Jerry Dias, assistant to the CAW president, said that despite the tough economic times, the CAW achieved the best possible agreement. "The solidarity of this small group of workers and the support of other CAW local unions and other trade unionists in the area made the difference," Dias said.
At its peak in the late 1990s Bauer Industries employed more than 300 workers at two plants in the Waterloo area.

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