Employees at Ford’s assembly plant in Oakville have become the first union local to reject a tentative contract at the Big Three in the history of the Canadian Auto Workers.
The union confirmed yesterday that CAW Local 707 voted 1,108 to 863 or 56 per cent against a three-year deal at Ford Motor Co. of Canada after a raucous ratification meeting on Sunday.
Workers at other plants, in Windsor, St. Thomas and Brampton, voted overwhelmingly in favour of the contract, which contains a wage freeze, a temporary suspension of a cost of living allowance and loss of a week of vacation pay every year.
The rejection in Oakville pulled down overall support to 67 per cent.
CAW president Buzz Hargrove said no one spoke positively at the meeting of Oakville workers after earlier distribution of leaflets at the plant that were filled with “mistruths and distortions.”
Local 707 president Gary Beck said workers at the busy plant, which will move to three shifts later this year, didn’t understand the industry’s overall problems.