Waterloo, Ontario – Members of the Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) have ended a four-day blockade of an auto supplier plant in Waterloo, Ontario over unpaid wages. An agreement was reached with management to pay all outstanding wages and vacation pay.
The blockade at Bauer Industries, which produces textile for vehicle seats, began when the company tried to remove finished product from the plant on February 20. Workers were told on February 13 that there would be no work until further notice, but at the time the product was being removed, they had not received their last paycheques, vacation pay, or termination pay.
The company has also agreed to pay its portion of outstanding pension contributions under the defined contribution pension plan. The agreement does not include termination or severance pay, which the union will seek at a later date in court.
“Unfortunately, due to our outdated laws regarding severance and termination pay, the workers are at the back of the line of creditors,” said CAW staff representative Bruce Toman. “These laws must be changed so that workers are moved to the top of the list.”
At its peak in the late 1990s, Bauer Industries employed more than 300 workers at two plants in the Waterloo area. The company has not yet declared bankruptcy, but is expected to do so shortly.