Toronto, Ontario – Unionized workers at an auto parts plant in Ajax, Ontario have ended an 11-day protest following repeated court orders, but have secured some of the money owed for outstanding severance and termination pay in the face of the plant’s early closure.
The Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) members staged the protest after BBI Enterprises announced that it would close the plant on June 18, cutting the jobs of 22 workers. The company said it was unable to provide workers with money owing since its customers, specifically General Motors, Chrysler and two tier-one suppliers for Toyota, had failed to make their payments.
Following the start of the demonstration, the CAW negotiated payments from Chrysler and the Toyota suppliers that will cover part of the outstanding severance payments. General Motors has yet to agree to make its payments, but has committed to meet with the union. The CAW said that GM had made numerous attempts during the protest to enter the facility to remove tooling and machinery, but was blocked by the demonstrators.
The union said it is committed to exhausting all legal channels in order to win back the remaining severance owed to the workers.
BBI produces insulated hoods and dashboards. The Ajax plant is the only Canadian facility of the Michigan-based corporation.