Concession Demands in Navistar Bargaining Totally Unacceptable, CAW President Says

June 25, 2009, 3:23 PM EST


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Negotiations between the CAW and Navistar continue in Windsor Ontario, today but employer demands for concessions including a significant downsizing of plant operations to less than 100 workers is totally unacceptable, said CAW President Ken Lewenza. 

"Given what the company has put on the bargaining table, it makes it nearly impossible for us to reach a fair and equitable agreement on behalf of our members. These workers and the community of Chatham have earned the right to job security and solid future employment," Lewenza said.

The proposed jobs cuts would leave over 1000 workers at the Chatham facility on lay off with little or no chance of recall. 

Lewenza noted that Navistar has made millions of dollars and significantly increased their market share largely as a result of the products built at the Chatham facility. 

"Our union has met with both provincial and federal governments in an attempt to bring attention to the massive downsizing of this operation and they must play a role in order to preserve these jobs," Lewenza said.

Cathy Wiebenga, CAW Local 127 Chairperson for production and skilled trades workers at the Chatham plant said that the company demands for massive concessions and proposed downsizing has completely ignored the high productivity and high quality that CAW members have produced for this corporation. 

"The company's position is totally unacceptable to the bargaining committee," Wiebenga said.

Sonny Galea, CAW Local 35 Chairperson for the office and technical workers at the plant said that the members who design, engineer and process the highly successful Prostar and Lonestar products are frustrated and angry about the company demands to cut more jobs.

The union will continue working toward the expiry of the agreement on June 30, 12:01 a.m. and beyond if necessary without strike action to try and come to a fair and equitable agreement.

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