Victory at Guelph Products

November 25, 2009, 2:22 PM EST

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The CAW has successfully negotiated and ratified a new three year collective agreement at auto parts maker Guelph Products, in Guelph Ontario that allowed for the purchase of the plant from Collins and Aikman by Chrysler. The deal was approved by 96 per cent at a membership meeting on November 22.

The 275 workers are represented by CAW Local 1917 and make consoles and instrumentation panels for Chrysler products assembled in Brampton.

The plant was scheduled to close in April 2008, but the union was able to negotiate an extension by securing an assurance from Chrysler to maintain their product commitment until June 2010. 

"With the agreement we have just reached, Chrysler is committing to take ownership of the plant as well as the current product for the entire cycle, out to 2015," said Jerry Dias, assistant to CAW National President.

With the ownership transition underway, workers are thrilled, said Dale Heaney, unit chairwoman. "We've spent two years under a dark cloud, not knowing if the plant would close. We always held onto the hope though that a solution could be found. People are quite satisfied with what we did in the collective agreement."

After the Guelph facility, Collins and Aikman has only one remaining plant in Canada, after closing plants in Brampton, Scarborough and Ingersoll, Ontario.

"At a time where our union has suffered a number of plant closures, this is wonderful news for our members and an important reminder that sometimes solutions can be found to avert a possible closure," said Dias.

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