Workers End Protest at BBI Plant in Ajax

June 29, 2009, 11:34 PM EST

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CAW Local 1090 members have ended an 11-day protest at the BBI Enterprises auto parts plant in Ajax, Ontario today after repeated court orders, but not before securing some of the money owed for outstanding severance and termination pay.

The workers staged the protest after the company abruptly announced it was accelerating the closure of the plant on June 18, cutting the jobs of 22 workers. The company indicated it was unable to provide workers outstanding monies owed since its customers (GM, Chrysler and two tier-one suppliers of Toyota) had failed to make their payments.

Since the demonstration began, the CAW managed to negotiate payments from Chrysler and the Toyota suppliers that will cover part of the outstanding severance payments.

Even though the payments do not cover the full cost of severance owed, the workers would have been left with nothing if not for taking action and fighting back said CAW Local 1090 President Steve Batchelor.

"Without a doubt, this is a victory for our members and for our union," Batchelor said. "Our members showed tremendous resolve and proved, once again, that fighting back makes a difference." 

The union stated its commitment to exhaust all legal channels in order to win back the remaining severance owed to the workers, said Jerry Dias, Assistant to the National President.

"Although the demonstration has ended we will continue to pursue all options to get these workers the money they are legally entitled to," Dias said. "Some of these workers have 25 years of service with this company and deserve much better than they've been treated."

General Motors is the only customer that has yet to agree to make their payments, although committed today to meet with the union. The automaker made numerous attempts over the past week and a half to enter the facility in order to remove tooling and machinery, but was blocked by demonstrators.

BBI produces insulated hoods and dashboards. The Ajax plant is the company's only Canadian facility.

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