VIDEO: Nemak Protest Ends
A protest at west Windsor's Nemak plant has come to an end after 13-days and $89,000 in fines.
Unifor laid out a series of demands as Sunday morning's court-ordered deadline to remove the blockade approached, the company agreed to those demands Sunday night.
Those demands include: meeting with Unifor over three dates within a 14-day period to negotiated resolution to the dispute, setting a timeline for an "expedited arbitration process should negotiations fail" and an agreement to abide by the arbitration decision.
Local 200 President John D'Agnolo says workers will now know their fate by Nov. 18 at the latest.
"When we were talking to them about the third party and if the decision came out in our favour, would they make sure that they kept that work here until 2022 like it said in the agreement? They wouldn't answer us, so we were quite worried about it," he says. "After them signing that document stating they will; we were quite happy with that."
He tells AM800 News the goal is to come to an agreement before an arbitrator is necessary.
"We have three meetings where we're going to sit down with them and hopefully we can get a resolution before it goes to a third party," says D'Agnolo.
A stipulation that Unifor members won't face discipline "for any issues related to the dispute" is also part of the pact.
D'Agnolo says the 173 workers who held the line for nearly two-weeks deserve all the credit for Sunday's agreement.
"They were steadfast when it came to making sure we got a good agreement here and because of that the company's now sitting with us," he says. "Hopefully the third party will award on our side, we think they will, and the three programs stay in Windsor; that's what it's all about."
D'Agnolo says workers will be back on the job by 11pm Sunday and the union is arranging a meeting with the company Monday.
Workers set up a blockade at the Windsor plant on Sept. 2 in response to Nemak's decision to close the plant in June 2020 as the company moves the work to Mexico.
The union had agreed to a wage freeze to secure work at the plant into 2022.