Workers at Magna-owned Windsor Modules join CAW

Overwhelming support for ‘Framework of Fairness’
By Lorna Harris
||Last Updated: 01/09/2008

The first Framework of Fairness agreement, the controversial new union-management relationship negotiated between Magna International and the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union, was ratified recently by employees of Magna-owned Windsor Modules. About 87 per cent of the over 200 workers who turned out to vote on November 7 also approved of the voluntary recognition of the CAW as their union.

There are about 250 employees in total in the newly-formed bargaining unit at the plant, located in Windsor, Ontario. They produce door components for Chrysler minivans, assembled at plants in Windsor and St. Louis, Missouri.

Under the three-year agreement, production workers will receive a $3-an-hour increase right away, in addition to a cost of living adjustment every August equal to the Consumer Price Index annual increase for Ontario. They, along with the skilled trades, will also receive a 50¢-per-hour wage increase after six months’ service and again after one year. However, even with this boost to wages, they will earn less than what most other Magna workers earn, according to a union official quoted in a report in the Windsor Star. An internal memo from the executive of CAW Independent Parts and Suppliers Council to its members, says union dues will be the equivalent of two hours and 20 minutes per month.