CAW Members at Ford Approve New Agreement

November 1, 2009, 5:30 PM EST

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Thousands of CAW members working at Ford facilities in Oakville, Windsor, St. Thomas and Bramalea have voted in favour of a new agreement, ratifying the deal by 83 per cent during a series of meetings held over the past two days. The deal was reached on October 30 between the two sides.

"No one should mistake workers' approval as satisfaction with the new agreement," said CAW President Ken Lewenza. "Members had faith in the union to negotiate the best agreement possible and protect their interests over the long term, but the problems faced by industry cannot be resolved at the bargaining table."

We need government and policy makers to wake up to the fact that the country's industrial base is rapidly eroding and with it, the entire middle class."

The deal is the second cost-cutting agreement reached between the CAW and Ford in 18 months and includes cuts to benefits, a reduction in vacation, break times and co-pays on health care, all of which were pattern items from the agreements with Chrysler and General Motors. 

During the negotiations Ford also announced it would be closing the St. Thomas assembly plant in 2011, eliminating 1,400 jobs in the already hard-hit community. Workers at the plant manufacture the Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car.

"This has been an extremely stressful and difficult year for Ford workers, just as it has been for hundreds of thousands of workers right across the country," said Mike Vince, chairperson of the CAW-Ford Master Bargaining Committee and president of CAW Local 200.  "Our members have been dealing with terrible insecurity as a result of financial crisis and recession and this new agreement will give a greater deal of job security right until 2012."

The new agreement expires on September 17, 2012 and covers approximately 7,000 Ford workers.

The results by location are as follows:

CAW Local 1520, St. Thomas
Production:  80% in favour
Skilled Trades: 81% in favour
Combined total: 80% in favour

CAW Local 200, Windsor
Production: 81% in favour
Skilled Trades: 75% in favour
Combined total: 80% in favour

CAW Local 707, Oakville
Production: 90% in favour
Skilled Trades: 91% in favour
Combined total: 90% in favour

CAW Local 584, Bramalea
Total: 85% in favour

CAW Local 240
Office: 100% in favour

CAW Local 1324
Office: 83% in favour

Combined Totals:
Total Production: 84% in favour
Total Skilled Trades: 81% in favour
Total Office: 94% in favour

Overall total: 83% in favour

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