Chrysler Windsor Minivan Plant Crippled By Strike
Some 175 member of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union employed by the TRW auto supply plant in east Windsor (Ontario) downed tools at three am last night and walked off the job, protesting wages and benefits. The Detroit News reports that Chrysler's Windsor minivan plant– which depends on TRW for its minivans' suspension frames– shut down three hours later. "Talks have broken off," announced CAW Local 444 President Ken Lewenza. "We're digging in our heels for a long one." CAW bargaining rep Mike Renaud told The Windsor Star he's got no regrets. ""It's a major blow to our community, and we're fully cognizant of that. And we remain willing to bargain at any given moment. But we have to have fair wages and benefits here for people," he said. Renaud described the average TRW $11.25 per hour salary as a "poverty level wage." CAW member Ryan Kelly, who works in shipping, said amen to that. "I made more working at Tim Horton's — it's a joke." Surprisingly (or not), this is the first time the TRW workers have attempted to reach a collective agreement with management. But not the first– nor the last– time Chrysler has been whacked by supplier disruptions.
UPDATE: Chrysler currently maintains an inventory of 45,700 minivan: a 57-day supply of Chrysler Town & Countrys and a 77-day supply of Dodge Caravans.
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