Bargaining Impasse: St. Marys Cement Strike Appeal

July 13, 2010, 3:51 PM EST

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Despite two-and-a-half days of further negotiations and after 18 weeks on strike, St. Mary's Cement continues to refuse to bargain a fair and equitable agreement with CAW Local 222 members who work at its Bowmanville, Ontario facility.

"We remain at a clear impasse with this arrogant corporation," said CAW President Ken Lewenza. "St. Marys Cement is foreign owned by a Brazilian Corporation that is making completely unacceptable demands on these workers, including an attack on their defined benefit pension plan, which has been in effect for 66 years," he said.

"This is a critical fight for all workers who deserve to receive secure retirement income," Lewenza said.

CAW Local 222 President Chris Buckley said the CAW will continue to press the company for a fair agreement in order to end this dispute.

Buckley blamed all levels of government for allowing foreign-owned companies to buy up Canada's natural resources and facilities and gut our hard-earned collective agreements.

"What is even more disgusting is the fact the current government allows this company to hire scab labour to perform our jobs during this dispute. We are encouraging consumers not to buy St. Marys products during this dispute," he said.

Paul Sowden, CAW Local 222 unit chairperson thanked all local unions across the country for their generous financial support for these workers and their families during this struggle.

"It remains our objective to bargain a fair and equitable agreement on behalf of our members and end this dispute which has gone on far too long," Sowden said.

Lewenza, in a July 12 letter, is again calling on all CAW local unions to provide as much financial and picket line support as possible to these workers in this lengthy dispute.

Cheques should be made payable to CAW Local 222 and sent to: Chris Buckley, President, CAW Local 222, 1425 Phillip Murray Avenue, Oshawa, ON, L1J 8L4.

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