St. Thomas Sterling Truck plant back to work

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ST.THOMAS, Ont. — Ninety-one per cent of Sterling Truck plant workers voted to ratify a three-year deal put forth by Freightliner yesterday.

The dispute was surrounding wages and benefits, in particular the issue of off-loading health care costs. In 2002, employees were hit with a five per cent rollback in wages and benefits, and Freightliner had plans to attach a co-payment system to their employee’s benefits packages.

Freightliner has agreed to wage increases each year for the next three years, they will quash the co-payment system that they had intended to put in place and a drop from $10 to $5 for every drug and benefit claim.

Richard Laverty, CAW chairman at the Sterling plant, says they are extremely pleased with the deal.

“We are relieved that it is all over and we will go back to work today at 3 p.m.,” says Laverty. “It was worth it though and the strike created a solidarity among us and we look forward to working together with each other and with our company.”

This morning there is a skeleton crew on at the St. Thomas plant stocking lines and the workers will resume production at 3 p.m. today.

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