ST. THOMAS, Ont. — Freightliner LLC’s Sterling Truck assembly plant was shut down Friday, by a strike after the DaimlerChrysler subsidiary and the CAW union failed to agree over health benefits.
CAW, which represents 1,100 union members at the plant, says it rejected the company’s demand for new escalating employee payments for health benefit coverage.
“This company already has a U.S. $5 cost advantage over their American plants on health care coverage and now they want an even greater saving at the expense of their Canadian workforce,” says Richard Laverty, who heads the union’s Sterling Truck bargaining committee.
A statement issued by Freightliner says its latest offer would have raised the hourly rate for most employees to more than $26.50 over three years and absorbed a large part of future benefit increases.
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