Labour briefs

Bargaining in bad faith costs employer $6M • New centre to help laid off workers adjust • Cellist plays sour note •

Bargaining in bad faith costs employer $6M

— In an unprecedented decision, the owners of a Winnipeg-based tractor plant were ordered by the Manitoba Labour Board to pay $6 million to employees for bargaining in bad faith. Buhler Versatile Inc. must pay back 250 workers from the Canadian Auto Workers for lost wages and costs suffered by the union during a bitter, eight-month labour dispute. The board found that Buhler offered progressively reduced wage rates without rationale during negotiations after a walkout last November. When employees voted to end their strike, the employer locked them out. The union had asked for $18 million in damages for the period when workers were striking.

New centre to help laid off workers adjust

Brampton, Ont.
— Former DaimlerChrysler workers who lost their jobs after the auto maker cut back shifts have a place to go to help them adjust and develop new skills. Earlier this summer, DaimlerChrysler, together with the Canadian Auto Workers, opened the Action Centre dedicated to the 1,300 employees who were laid off when the third shift closed at Daimler’s Brampton assembly plant. The company contributed $250,000 to the project, and both the provincial and federal governments contributed. “Workers have a right to wide-ranging supports when they lose their jobs,” said Buzz Hargrove, CAW president.

Cellist plays sour note

— The reinstatement of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s star cellist Daniel Domb appears unlikely to ease relations between musicians and the organization. Domb, fired for playing with an amateur orchestra while on sick leave, said he is not interested in returning despite his reinstatement, and wants a severance package. Musicians say the incident has damaged relations. Domb, who spent 27 years with the orchestra, suffered a near-fatal head injury, resulting in six months on disability, followed by sick leave. While on leave he performed with an amateur orchestra to prepare for his return and was subsequently dismissed.

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