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Negotiations screech to a halt at ArvinMeritor brake facility

TROY, Mich. -- Operations were suspended at an Ontario brake facility at midnight on June 3 after labour negotiatio...

TROY, Mich. — Operations were suspended at an Ontario brake facility at midnight on June 3 after labour negotiations fell through between the manufacturer and the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) Local 1941 union bargaining committee.

ArvinMeritor’s plant at the Tilbury, Ont., Canada Commercial Vehicle Systems (CVS) facility, locked its doors after the CAW declined to present its members with the company’s final offer.

“We have presented our fourth and final economic offer to the union bargaining committee,” said Mark Parris, Tilbury’s site manager. “Because the committee refuses to present the company’s final offer to its members, we plan to call on the Ministry of Labour in Ontario to conduct a secret ballot vote with our workforce in Tilbury so that employees will have an opportunity to determine the final outcome.”

The vote will likely take place in approximately 7 to 10 days and the union is advising its membership to reject the offer should the vote actually take place. The CAW says the final offer contains major monetary concessions, in addition to cuts to current and future retirees along with major outsourcing of jobs to U.S. facilities.

“The economic realities of our industry require that we, as a global corporation, take actions which improve our cost structure and ensure the future stability of the company and the Tilbury facility,” stated Pedro Ferro, vice-president and general manager of Braking Systems for ArvinMeritor’s CVS business group. “Certain modifications to the previous collective agreement are necessary for this facility to remain competitive in today’s challenging automotive environment.”

As a result, ArvinMeritor Canada has suspended operation at the facility until a collective agreement is ratified and will continue to supply commercial vehicle brakes and related components to customers from its facilities in Frankfort, Ky. and Manning, S.C.

Ferro added, “During this time, we are focused on meeting our customers’ requirements and have contingency plans in place to deliver on that commitment,” added Ferro.

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