September 21, 2009

Union approves wage freeze to keep jobs

Union autoworkers at Ingersoll, Ontario, said they approved a contract that freezes wages for almost four years but provides for extended job security.

Sixty-four percent of Canadian Auto Workers Local 88 approved the contract for the CAMI assembly plant that, provides "¦ members with a degree of job security that most other autoworkers in North America can only dream of, CAW national President Ken Lewenza said.

The contract extends production at the plant until late into the next decade, the Toronto Star reported Monday.

Our members recognized the importance of long-term stability, and although no one wanted these contract changes, I believe stability is what we achieved with this new agreement, said Mike Van Boekel, Local 88 plant chairman.

The contract suspends cost-of-living adjustments until June 2012, the Star reported.

CAMI, a joint venture between General Motors Co. and Suzuki Motor Co., has scheduled a third shift to start at the plant in October. CAMI also plans to recall about 350 laid-off workers, the newspaper said.