CAW Local 504 Members Reject Siemens Closure Plan

June 16, 2010, 8:40 AM EST

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CAW Local 504 members who work at the Siemens turbine manufacturing facility in Hamilton, Ontario are expressing outrage over the company's latest response to a proposed closure agreement.

More than 400 workers took part in a membership meeting Sunday, June 13 to discuss the company's refusal to negotiate a fair and equitable closure agreement. On June 14 workers burned the company's latest response in a barrel outside the plant during a protest at noon hour.

CAW Local 504 President Randy Smith said despite repeated requests the CEO of Siemens Canada is refusing to meet with CAW National President Ken Lewenza to find a solution to the problem.

"This is totally unacceptable," Smith said. "We are going to fight back to ensure our members get a fair and equitable closure agreement."

Bob Chernecki, assistant to the CAW President, said Siemens is a highly profitable international corporation. He said CAW members at the Hamilton plant are highly skilled with many years of service.

"These workers have made an enormous contribution to this company, which is refusing to recognize the importance and value of the work of the Hamilton workforce," Chernecki said.

"We're determined to secure a solid closure agreement on behalf of these workers," Chernecki said.  

Doug Brown, Siemens hourly unit chair, said the workforce is older with the majority of members over 50 years of age who will face an "impossible task of finding comparable jobs this late in their work careers. This is why we need an enhanced closure agreement that reflects the dedication, hard work and high skills of these members."

"The bargaining committee has been frustrated at every turn by the company but we remain determined to negotiate a good closure agreement," said Brown.

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