TORONTO -- Canadian Auto Workers at Sterling Truck (Freightliner), a division of DaimlerChrysler, ratified on Sunday by 91 per cent a tentative agreement reached Friday between the Canadian Auto Workers union and the company, ending a two week strike.
The company dropped the major issue leading to the strike which was the demand to impose escalating co-pays on the health care package in the second and third year of the agreement and agreed to a 2.5% wage increase in the first year, 2.7 % in the second and 3 % in the third year. According to Freightliner, improvements were also made in time off the job, pensions, and specific healthcare benefits.
Some 1,100 members of CAW Local 101, who build about 70 medium-and heavy-duty trucks a day at DaimlerChrysler's Sterling Truck division in St. Thomas, Ontario, went on strike on Feb. 21 after the company refused to drop its demand for new escalating employee co-payments for health benefits packages.
Bob Chernecki, assistant to CAW president Buzz Hargrove said on Friday that if the tentative agreement were approved, most workers would return to work on Monday, March 9.
Of the 1100 workers on strike for a first contract, 851 cast their ballots in the ratification vote held on Sunday. "This settlement not only ended the strike but these workers have built a solid union with their first contract and they understand these gains were made because of their solidarity and strong leadership," said Chernecki, after the vote results were announced.