Lear Ajax Plant to Re-Open, Kitchener Gets New Jobs

July 21, 2009, 1:40 PM EST


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CAW members at auto parts maker Lear Seating in Kitchener and Ajax, Ontario have approved two new collective agreements, adding new jobs to both communities.

The agreements were a crucial piece in ensuring these facilities will manufacture parts for the next generation of GM and Chrysler vehicles built in Canada.

At Lear Ajax, the agreement was ratified by CAW Local 1090 members by 83 per cent. The 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.

"Workers are amazed that a plant that closed this year will now be opening its doors again next year," said Steve Batchelor, CAW Local 1090 president.

"Hundreds of people who lost their jobs will be able to return, it's an amazing success story," said Jerry Dias, assistant to CAW national president. "The union played a critical role in bringing these jobs back to both communities."

In Kitchener, CAW Local 1524 members approved the deal by 88 per cent. The agreement was set to expire in 2010 and has been extended by a year, with 147 new jobs being added. Currently there are approximately 325 people on lay-off from the plant.

"This is great news, especially in light of all of the closure and lay-off announcements we've experienced across the region," said Tim Mitchell, CAW Local 1524 president. "Workers are thrilled that instead of more lay-offs, there will finally be people called back to their jobs."

A deal has not yet been reached for the Whitby, Ontario plant.

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