April 4, 2007

Ford to pay $1.45 million to Ontario auto parts workers’ severance package

Toronto, Ontario – Following a decision by DaimlerChrysler to pay $1.8 million toward outstanding severance to workers at a Scarborough (Toronto), Ontario auto parts manufacturer, Ford has agreed to pay $1.45 million. The amounts are in proportion to the production the companies have received from the plant over the past three years.

Workers at Collins & Aikman went back to work April 2 after taking over their plant for two days because of severance the company had refused to pay. While the Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) representing the workers recognizes that Collins & Aikman is the first payer of the severance owing, the union reached an agreement with DaimlerChrysler on Sunday for $1.8 million toward the outstanding severance.

The union is now pressuring General Motors to follow the Ford and DaimlerChrysler pattern. Collins & Aikman would be responsible to pay the automakers back the severance money that will be paid to the workers.

The company supplies plastic dashboard parts to Chrysler, Ford and GM but is operating under bankruptcy court protection in the U.S., and is winding down or attempting to sell its Canadian operations. The CAW Local 303 represents more than 400 workers at the Scarborough plant, which is slated to close in late spring; just over 100 workers remain on the job, with the remainder on layoff. Collins & Aikman owes a total of about $6 million in severance and other benefits to the Scarborough workers.

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