MRO Magazine

Electro-Motive strikes closeout deal with CAW

London, ON – Electro-Motive Canada says it has reached a tentative closeout deal for the “safe and orderly” shutdown of its locomotive manufacturing plant in London, ON.


Human Resources

February 22, 2012
By MRO Magazine

London, ON – Electro-Motive Canada says it has reached a tentative closeout deal for the “safe and orderly” shutdown of its locomotive manufacturing plant in London, ON.

The unit of US heavy equipment giant Caterpillar Inc. said the deal is subject to a ratification vote Feb. 23, 2012, by 465 affected members of the Canadian Auto Workers union.

Details of the agreement, which covers severance, pension and other financial and closure issues, were unavailable.

In the past, Canadian plants that shut down were sometimes picketed by workers who blocked gates and prevented equipment from being moved out until they had negotiated a closeout deal.

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Electro-Motive shut down the southwestern Ontario plant early this month and is moving the work to a plant in Indiana after locking out the Local 27 CAW hourly workers in a pay dispute.

The company had demanded wage cuts of nearly half and other concessions so the plant could be in line with labour costs at its US and other plants.

The union refused such large concessions and the company locked out the workers Jan. 1, 2012. The plant closure led critics to question federal foreign investment rules in Canada.

The shutdown will hit the industrial economy in southwestern Ontario hard and cut another 1,700 spinoff jobs linked to the locomotive plant.

Ontario’s manufacturing economy has been battered in recent years from the restructuring of the North American auto sector as well as other blue-collar industries.

While economic power in Canada has shifted to the resource-rich Western provinces, the high dollar and the streamlining at GM, Ford and Chrysler have led to the shutdown of several auto and truck plants across southern Ontario, home of Canada’s auto sector.

The provincial jobless rate jumped to 8.1% in January 2012, well above the national average.

© 2012 The Canadian Press