New Agreements at Lear Re-opens Plant, Adds Jobs

July 17, 2009, 2:11 PM EST

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The CAW has reached new collective agreements with auto parts maker Lear Seating for the Kitchener and Ajax, Ontario locations, bringing some unusually good news for both cities.

The Lear Ajax plant, which closed in May of this year, will re-open in October 2010, employing 250 people.  Workers will start being recalled in February 2010, with all of the recalls completed by February 2011. The workers are represented by CAW Local 1090 and will vote on the new agreement on July 20.

"It's a remarkable situation to be able to announce that a closed plant will be opening back up and the hundreds who lost their jobs there will be able to return," said Jerry Dias, assistant to CAW national president. 

In Kitchener, the agreement which was set to expire in 2010 has been extended by a year, with 147 new jobs being added. Currently there are approximately 325 people on lay-off from the plant. The workers are represented by CAW Local 1524 and will vote on the new contract on July 19.

"After so much bad news that both the Durham and Kitchener-Waterloo regions have endured, it's really heartening that we were able to negotiate the re-opening of one plant and new jobs for another. Certainly, this wouldn't have been possible without the tireless work of the union and the bargaining committees at both locations," said Dias.  

At other Lear facilities in Ontario, the agreement at Lear St. Thomas will be in effect until 2010 and a deal has not yet been reached for the Whitby plant. The bargaining committee also made it a priority to ensure that Lear lives up to its obligations to CAW Local 1973 members in Windsor who lost their jobs when the plant closed in June 2008, said Jim Woods, CAW national representative.

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