BUSINESS

CAW reaches 30-day agreement with National Auto Radiator that ends lockout

04/16/2013 05:26 EDT | Updated 06/16/2013 05:12 EDT
WINDSOR, Ont. - The Canadian Auto Workers union said Tuesday it has reached a 30-day agreement with National Auto Radiator, ending a lockout that began last week.

The Windsor-based company has agreed to resume payments for employees and retiree benefits starting Wednesday while both sides continue to negotiate a broader agreement for the facility's closure, the union said.

National Auto Radiator has also agreed to stop any manufacturing or shipments from the plant for 30 days. In return, the union will neither picket nor strike.

"The fate of the facility has not changed, but this agreement will allow us the space to negotiate a closure agreement, instead of having our members locked out, and retirees cut off of health benefits," said CAW National President Ken Lewenza.

Employees were locked out last Thursday when the union rejected wage, pension and benefit concessions from the company. National Auto Radiator also stopped benefit payments to retirees.

At the time of the lockout, there were 17 union workers at the facility and "a few dozen" that were already laid off, Lewenza said in an interview.

The company also has 200 retirees receiving pension benefits.