Thursday, March 19, 2009

[olympiaworkers] Canadian auto-workers occupy factory March 19, 2009

A group of disgruntled workers at a recently closed auto parts supply
company in Windsor, Ontario have taken over the plant.

In the latest twist in a saga that has been brewing since two auto
plants in the area shut down early last week, about a dozen workers
occupied the Aradco plant Tuesday night. They have welded the doors
shut from the inside and say they will not leave until they get what
they are owed.

Work at the Aradco plant stopped last week because of a dispute
between the plant owners and Chrysler, which has mused publicly about
pulling out of its Canadian operations unless unionized workers make
substantial concessions.

The Canadian Auto Workers Union that represents the Aradco workers
say that in the wake of the shutdown, the workers are owed money for
severance pay, vacation pay, and termination pay totalling $1.7 million.

The plant's owner, Catalina Precision Products Ltd. has offered the
workers four weeks of severance pay or about $200,000 in total for all
80 workers.

The plant builds parts for Chrysler. Since last week, Chrysler has
been trying to go in and collect parts and tools it says are its, but
the workers are not allowing it. They have been blocking trucks from
coming on to the property. Union representatives say the workers fear
that if the tools and parts are removed, they will have no negotiating

"Some of the workers here have decided to take over the plant.
That's the only thing they have in order to try to get the monies that
are owing to them," said Gerry Farnham, president of the CAW local
representing the workers.

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