CAW Members Ratify Restructuring Deal with General Motors

May 25, 2009, 7:19 PM EST

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CAW members working at General Motors in Oshawa, Windsor, St. Catharines and Woodstock, Ontario have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new collective agreement, ratifying the deal by 86 per cent after a series of meetings were held over the past two days.

CAW President Ken Lewenza said this new deal should provide a much-needed sense of security to the thousands of active members and tens of thousands of retirees at General Motors in Canada.

"This has been a grueling restructuring process, and no one has felt that more than our members and retirees," Lewenza said. "Although we were forced to make a number of important sacrifices, the support we received from our members is proof that they recognize the incredible challenges the industry is facing, but more importantly that they are prepared to stand by each other and stand with their union."

Lewenza credited the solidarity and activism of CAW members who held demonstrations across the province in recent weeks as having played a critical role in pushing the restructuring talks forward.

The deal includes cost-saving provisions affecting cash compensation, health benefits, other non-wage benefits, work practices and productivity improvements as well as a comprehensive restructuring of the company's pension plan.

CAW Local 222 President and CAW-GM Master Bargaining Committee Chairperson Chris Buckley said the restructuring deal will help secure the company's financial footing in Canada and protect thousands of Canadian jobs in the face of a possible bankruptcy protection filing.

 "This deal has provided us the path on which we can move forward, to ensure not only our members but all workers impacted by the auto industry feel a bit more secure at a time of tremendous economic uncertainty," Buckley said.

The ratification results for each location are as follows:

CAW Local 636, Woodstock
Production: 87 per cent in favour
Skilled Trades: 75 per cent in favour
Combined total: 86.5 per cent in favour

CAW Local 1973, Windsor
Production: 97.2 per cent in favour
Skilled Trades: 96.2 per cent in favour
Combined total: 97 per cent in favour

CAW Local 199, St. Catharines
Production: 86.5 per cent in favour
Skilled Trades: 87 per cent in favour
Combined total: 86.7 per cent in favour

CAW Local 222, Oshawa
Production: 85 per cent in favour
Skilled Trades: 73 per cent in favour
Combined total: 82 per cent in favour

Overall combined total: 86 per cent in favour

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