May 10, 2007

GM settles Human Rights Commission claim

London, Ontario – The Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) has announced that a tentative settlement has been reached between General Motors and six workers in a human rights claim that occurred five years ago.

In 2002, six GM workers in the company’s London, Ontario armoured vehicle plant were suspended from their jobs because of citizenship issues, prompting them to take the matter to the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

The CAW says the situation began when GM obtained a contract to supply armoured vehicles to the U.S. Army, but after many months, in compliance with a U.S. State Department demand, no dual citizens were permitted to continue to work in so-called “sensitive positions” in a plant supplying the U.S. military.

The CAW says that while the workers suffered no monetary loss, “We recognize the personal distress that the American governmental rules may have caused,” says Tim Carrie, president of CAW Local 27. The settlement includes an apology from GM to the workers, a return to their proper security clearance, and a monetary settlement. The automaker sold the London plant to U.S. defense company General Dynamics Land Systems in December 2002.

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