On strike at Magna Integram Windsor Seating


About 900 unionized workers at Magna Integram Windsor Seating have hit the picket line to back contract demands.

The workers at the plant on Patillo Road in Lakeshore walked off the job just after midnight on Wednesday.

Unifor Local 444 President Dave Cassidy took to social media to say the two sides had reached an impasse in contract talks.

Jim Beattie has worked at the plant for 21-years and says his wage has increased $3 an hour in 21-years, making it extremely hard to make ends meet in this economy.

"I got three kids and a wife at home it's not easy for that," says Beattie.  "Especially the economy nowadays, gas is double the price, groceries itself you know what that is out there right now.  You can barely afford to get anything, spending $100 and filling up a grocery cart anymore, you can barely fill a couple bags for that.  I've had $3 is 21-years now since I've been here, so we got our cola taken away from us stuff like that.  It's time for them to start paying us.  They're making the big bucks, so we need to start making some of that too."    

He says the mood is upbeat on the picket line.

"Everyone, they're feeling good right now like I say it's time for us, we need to start getting paid for this stuff," he says.  "We work hard.  We get their contracts, they get new contracts coming in well, it's time for us to start making some money too right."    

The workers voted 99 per cent in favour of strike action last month to back demands in a new contract.

The strike deadline was originally set for November 4 but was pushed to 11:59 p.m. November 7.

Integram is a tier 1 supplier for the Windsor Assembly Plant.

In an emailed statement to AM800 News, Magna International's Director of Corporate External Communications, Dave Niemiec, said "We remain hopeful that an amicable agreement is within reach that will allow us to resume operations shortly and meet the needs of our customers."

— with files from AM800's Rob Hindi