Workers Approve New Deal at CAMI Automotive

September 20, 2009, 3:00 PM EST


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CAW Local 88 members employed at CAMI in Ingersoll, Ontario have ratified a new contract by nearly two thirds.  The ratification meetings were held this morning and early afternoon in London.

Production workers approved the contract by 61 per cent, while Skilled Trades workers ratified the deal by 89 per cent.

"Our members recognized the importance of long term stability, and although no-one wanted these contract changes, I believe stability is what we achieved with this new agreement," said Mike Van Boekel, CAMI Chairperson.

The new three year agreement is similar to those reached at both Chrysler and General Motors earlier this past spring in that it freezes wages and pensions, trims benefits, introduces a monthly health care contribution and reduces break times.  The agreement also reduces the traditional two year lag between CAMI and General Motors and puts in place base wage parity with GM, for the first time ever. Much of the agreement will come into effect in September 2010, following the expiration of the existing agreement. 

A crucial part of this agreement was the commitment of a replacement product for the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain in 2014, said CAW President Ken Lewenza. "While these contract changes are difficult for our members, I hope they will help usher in a decade of prosperity for the CAMI facility, which will guarantee good jobs well into the future."

The union is still in negotiations with Ford Motor Company.  As of last week, Ford was still refusing to make a commitment to a manufacturing footprint, as was accomplished at Chrysler, General Motors and now CAMI.

"This agreement with CAMI should serve as model for our negotiations with Ford, who must understand that only with a fair commitment to maintaining manufacturing in Canada can painful contract changes be possible."

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