March 21, 2002

DaimlerChrysler Canada and CAW union announce workplace health initiative

Windsor, Ontario – DaimlerChrysler Canada, the Canadian Auto Workers Union and the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit have announced a joint public-private comprehensive workplace wellness program – Working Toward Wellness.

The company-wide initiative, administered by local health organizations like the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, will extend to DaimlerChrysler Canada’s over 65,000 employees, retirees and their families. In Windsor-Essex County, that translates to a reach of approximately one in eight residents.

Studies have shown that participation in a workplace wellness program not only reduces participants’ health risk factors like high blood pressure, cholesterol and weight but also decreases healthcare spending and lost time at work.

Delivery of the program will take many forms from theme-based brochures and facility specific newsletters to on-site education days and health fairs. Local health units will provide direct access to the most current health information available. A joint union-management Workplace Wellness Committee at each DaimlerChrysler Canada Ontario plant will maintain the program’s momentum and focus.

“To our knowledge, this public-private program is an industry first and another example of what DaimlerChrysler Canada and the CAW’s strong working relationship can achieve,” said Phil Bezaire, DaimlerChrysler Canada Vice President Human Resources.

“We are committed to improving the health of our members and their families,” said Ken Lewenza, CAW/DaimlerChrysler Canada Bargaining Chairperson and President, Local 444. “A joint program like this can have a significant impact on the health of our membership.”

“The rest of the community also wins,” said Dr. Allen Heimann, Medical Officer of Health, Windsor-Essex County Health Unit. “Resources developed for the joint DaimlerChrysler Canada/CAW Working Toward Wellness program will also be available to other work places through the Health Unit’s community-wide Workplace Health Promotion Program.”

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