Strike averted at auto parts plant

Workers at Johnson Controls are reporting for work Monday morning after Canadian Auto Workers union members ratified a tentative contract with the auto parts manufacturer on Sunday.

More than 91 per cent of the workers who cast ballots voted in favour of the three-year deal.

The agreement was struck early Saturday after a late-night bargaining session between the union and management at the auto parts manufacturer, which is located in Lakeshore, east of Windsor.

The deal includes better benefits, a one-time $500 productivity payment and job security provisions — but no increase in wages.

New workers will start at a rate $9 an hour less than current wages, but union representatives said that will help the company gain a competitive advantage as it seeks out new work.

Kevin Beltrano, the plant’s union chairman, said new hires would see their wages increase to the current rates over a five-year period.

“With the five-year progression, I believe that we’ve done a justice, even for our new hires,” Beltrano said.

A strike at Johnson Controls would have interrupted production at Chrysler’s Windsor assembly plant, which relies on Johnson Controls overhead components for the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country minivans.

Headliners include wiring in the roof of vehicles and are installed during the earliest stages of assembly.

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