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CAW-Daimler reach deal over St. Thomas plant closure

TORONTO -- Daimler Trucks will pad the landing for workers who will lose their jobs after the truckmaker eliminates the Sterling brand and closes its St. Thomas, Ont. assembly plant on March. 27.

CAW Local 1001 overwhelmingly voted in favor of a closure agreement (97 percent) that provides enhanced severance extended benefits and funding for a job action center.

At its peak, when production was running on three shifts, the plant employed 2,200 workers. In the face of a North American downturn, however, the workforce dwindled down to about 700.

"This Sterling truck plant closure underlines again the need for the federal government to take immediate action to deal with the manufacturing jobs crisis in Canada, which continues to mean the loss of skilled, good paying jobs," said CAW President Ken Lewenza.

Under the agreement, the 750 workers currently employed at the plant receive two weeks of severance for each year of service, a $5,000 lump sum payment and six months extension of benefits after the closure. Workers laid off last year will receive comparable packages.

The deal also includes $100,000 to be put toward the creation of a job placement centre and $50,000 in tuition assistance funding.


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