Angry CAW Members Disrupt Auto Parts Auction, Demand Severance

November 19, 2009, 10:45 AM EST

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More than100 CAW members in Windsor, Ontario staged a demonstration in the halls of the Radisson Hotel on November 17 effectively disrupting a public auction of machinery and equipment from the now closed Aradco and Aramco auto parts facilities.

The group of protestors, including members of CAW Local 195 who previously worked at the Aradco and Aramco facilities, demanded the company owner (Catalina Precision Products) pay its former employees all outstanding monies owed, including $2.5 million in severance as well as unpaid vacation and wages.

Following the sudden closure of the two auto parts factories in March of this year, Catalina denied workers their full entitlement to severance pay as provided under Ontario law.

The company's decision prompted a public outcry among workers in Windsor and across the country, which lead to a two-day occupation of the Aradco plant. The occupation resulted in a substantial increase in severance monies, but still far from what the workers are legally entitled to receive.

"We want this company and the government to understand that workers will not accept the injustices of being denied their severance and to know they are prepared to fight back," said Gerry Farnham, President of CAW Local 195.

Earlier, demonstrators blockaded both auto parts facilities on November 16 in an effort to prevent potential buyers from previewing the equipment for auction.

As part of it's Save Our Severance campaign, the CAW continues to demand government protect severance payments through better enforcement of existing laws and in establishing a provincial wage earner protection program that applies to all insolvent and 'run away' employers.

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