For Immediate Release
Sault Ste. Marie, ON – A supervised Ministry of Labour vote Wednesday has failed to resolve a bitter lockout between members of IAMAW Local Lodge 2332 and three automotive dealerships.
“Our members at two of the dealerships, Superior Dodge Chrysler and Highland Ford, rejected the final offer by a wide margin,” explained IAMAW Business Representative Rob Thompson. Members at the third dealership, Prouse Motors, accepted the offer by a 6-5 vote.
Management at the dealerships requested the supervised vote in an effort to end the lockout which began on December 21, 2009. The 39 mechanics, paint shop workers, body men, parts department staff, apprentices, general helpers and clerical staff were locked out for refusing to sign a new collective agreement.
“This is not a fair deal for the lower wage earners,” explained Thompson. “General garage workers lose 74 cents per hour in pension contributions in the first year while Paint and Body Shop, Parts Department and clerical workers receive only a 1 per cent wage increase and a pension increase of five cents an hour in the first year. Management still refuses to discuss a basic dental plan and the probationary language for new hires is from the Stone Age.”
“I’m convinced that if all of the members at Prouse Motors were available for the vote, it would have been rejected,” said Thompson. “The bulk of our membership has held firm and we await a new offer from the employers.”
The IAMAW represents mechanics, paint shop workers, body men, parts department staff, apprentices, general helpers and clerical staff at five auto dealerships in the steel city.