Toronto: auto workers occupy factory

150 auto workers occupied their factory yesterday in a dispute over unpaid severance pay whilst hundreds more demonstrated outside.

Submitted by Mike Harman on April 1, 2007

Workers barricaded doors at the Collins & Aikman plant in Scarborough, a suburb of Toronto, yesterday. The factory produces floor, acoustic systems and cockpit modules for cars.

200 workers have been laid off at the plant since it filed for bankruptcy in 2005, but they have not been paid severance pay. The company claims that its US arm won't release the funds.

“They have absolutely every obligation, lawful and otherwise, including an agreement with us, our union - CAW, to pay that severance out.” said one worker.

Update 2 April
Daimler-Chrysler agreed to pay out $1.8 million of the total $4 million severance package, with Ford and General Motors in discussions on the payment of their shares. This was enough to end the occupation which lastes two days.

Update 3 April
Canada: Wildcat strike in solidarity with sacked auto workers



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