Ingersoll, Ontario – Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) Local 88 members at the joint GM/Suzuki CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario have voted overwhelmingly to support a program of rotating layoffs in an effort to share the difficulties of announced job cuts. CAMI recently announced plans to temporarily stop production of the Suzuki XL7 and to eliminate the second shift at the facility in 2009, with a loss of 600 jobs.
The union and company have agreed to a program of rotating layoffs between January and April, effectively keeping the workers employed, but at a reduced work schedule. Production at the plant is expected to pick up again in May 2009, following the launch of a new vehicle. The workers voted 99 per cent in favour of the program.
CAMI plant chairperson Mike Van Boekel called the positive response from the members a “bittersweet reward”, as Canadian auto workers continue to struggle with an industry in rapid decline. “The auto industry is central to our economy and CAMI plays an important role in our community,” he said. “We absolutely need a viable, long-term strategy to help solve this current crisis that will move our industry forward, and our government has to be the driving force behind that.”
The plant, which employs 1,700 workers, produces the Pontiac Torrent, Chevrolet Equinox and Suzuki XL7.