October 7, 2002
CAW membership votes in favour of Ford contract
Toronto, Ontario – Canadian Auto Workers union members in Windsor, St. Thomas, Oakville and Brampton, Ontario voted overwhelmingly for the three-year Ford contract settled September 30, 2002.
Production workers voted 92 per cent in favour of the contract, with
skilled trades workers endorsing the contract by 96 per cent. CAW office
workers voted overwhelmingly in favour as well.
On Friday, over 400 CAW leadership representatives from Ford facilities in southern Ontario were nearly unanimous in endorsing the new agreement with Ford Motor Company.
“The number one issue of the membership was job security, especially in
Oakville. The bargaining committees worked hard to address their concern and
the membership vote demonstrated the confidence they had in their bargaining
committees with overwhelming support,” says CAW president Buzz Hargrove. “I am
absolutely elated with the vote results.”
The contract mimicked the pattern set with General Motors with wage
increases of 3 per cent, 3 per cent and 2 per cent in each year of the
contract in addition to cost of living protection. Substantial improvements in
health care benefits, income security programs, time off the job, health and
safety and other areas of the contract also tracked the GM pattern.
The tough issue of the closure of the Ontario Truck Plant announced last
January by Ford was resolved with 900 jobs saved which, together with
anticipated retirements encouraged by a $60,000 early retirement incentive,
will mean no layoffs for the duration of the contract for the 1400 workers and
their families threatened with the closure. In addition Ford unveiled future
plans to transform the Oakville site into a flexible manufacturing site after
2005, conditional on government support.
The CAW represents 14,000 Ford workers in Canada.