Brampton - After a lengthy fight back, CAW Local 513 members have ratified a closure agreement with Simmons Canada that ensures workers will receive severance pay.
The 134 CAW members who worked at the Brampton facility ratified the agreement by 62 per cent on April 25. The $1.93 million settlement will provide workers with one week of pay times the years of service, with no cap on the number of years. It also ensures severance for those on long-term disability.
As part of the agreement an action centre funded by government to help former Simmons Canada workers will be officially opened May 20.
"We used every means possible to win justice for these workers including legal action and a fight back at the Ontario Labour Relations Board," said Bob Chernecki, assistant to the CAW President.
"After six months of working hard to secure severance pay for these workers, we finally reached an agreement with the employer," said CAW national representative Phillip Paul. "This was a tough fight, but because of the solidarity of the membership we were able to achieve a strong victory."
Herman Pimentel, former chairperson of the plant unit, said it was a difficult and trying time for Simmons workers in Brampton.
"This settlement proves that with diligence and solidarity much is possible," Pimentel said. "Hopefully this severance package will provide people with a spring board for their future endeavors. I want to thank everyone at the CAW national office, including the legal department for its efforts at the Ontario Labour Relations Board."
"It's been a long journey that brought many challenges," said Lisa Harrison, former CAW office unit chair. "We fought hard and our entire bargaining committee did its best, especially in this tough economy. We were able to get the cap taken off severance so that older workers will benefit from a severance payment that reflects their years of service and provides more help to those who will have trouble finding new work because of their age," Harrison said.