Magna Workers First To OK 'Framework Of Fairness'

Landmark Magna-CAW agreement includes a skilled trades program, layoff and job security protections, a women's advocate, paid education leave and inter-plant transfer language.

WINDSOR, Ont. — A group of workers at an Ontario plant that makes door parts for minivans has become the first to vote in favor of a landmark labor agreement between Magna International Inc. and the Canadian Auto Workers union.
 
The CAW said Wednesday that more than 250 workers at Windsor Modules, a division of Magna, voted 87 percent in favor of the agreement, which includes an immediate $3 per hour wage increase for some workers and a controversial no-strike clause.
 
The Windsor plant is the first of more than 40 plants in the Magna system to adopt the deal — the first collective agreement negotiated by the CAW and Magna.
 
The so-called Framework of Fairness agreement also includes a skilled trades program, layoff and job security protections, a women's advocate, paid education leave and inter-plant transfer language, the CAW said.
 
The agreement, which was announced earlier this month by CAW president Buzz Hargrove and Magna founder and chairman Frank Stronach, allows the union to organize and collect dues from approximately 18,000 workers at Magna factories in Canada.
 
The CAW's national board recently voted 16 to 1 in favor of the deal.
 
However, the agreement faces some high-profile dissent, notably from Chris Buckley, president of the 23,000-member Local 222 in Oshawa, Ont., who opposes the deal's no-strike clause.
 
Under the agreement, workers would not have the right to strike but the company could not lock them out. The two sides would settle disputes through binding arbitration.
 
A full debate will take place at the union's council in December.
 
Magna is currently reshaping the company on improving financial sheets.
 
In May, OJSC Russian Machines invested $1.54 billion in Magna, acquiring 20 million class A shares.
 
Magna operates in 23 countries with about 83,000 employees.
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