Posted by: JPP | 08/05/2010

UNITED AUTO WORKERS (UAW) – LOCAL 1520 (CANADÁ)

Em anexo uma história da UAW – Local 1520, retirada daqui.

History The First Years

Shortly after the signing of the Auto Pact on October 22, 1965, Ford officially announced that they would be building an auto assembly plant near Talbotville.

This site was chosen for several reasons, the most important being the availablity of labour and the lower cost of importing parts. The location, between St. Thomas and London, provided two large sources of labour from which to draw employees. The site provided easy access to the CN line and the MacDonald-Cartier Freeway for transportation to both Toronto and Windsor. This site was also centrally located to automobile parts suppliers.

The first official car, a white Falcon Futura Station wagon rolled off the line on December 18, 1967. At that time, the plant produced 36 cars per hour on one shift.

On December 19, Local 1520 was certified by the Ontario Labour Relations Board as the offical bargaining agent for the hourly workers at the Ford Motor Company St. Thomas Assembly Plant (STAP).

On January 12, 1968 the Local received its Charter as an official member of the United Auto Workers (UAW). Although certification was achieved shortly after production began, it was not an easy task.

The first organizing meeting took place on September 13, 1967 at the Lambeth Legion. The second meeting took place at the 401 Plaza, (Hwy 4, north of Hwy 401) on October 25.

Those involved in organizing the union had to be careful that they were not caught trying to sign up members because the company could fire them on the spot. They were in most cases, involved in the union movement before coming to Ford, and therefore knew the value of a union.

The union applied for certification on October 7, and the Ontario Labour Relations Board held their hearing on November 14.

At the time of application between 85% and 90% of the workers had signed union cards. By April 1968 only about 14 out of the 1127 employed at the plant had not signed cards.

Despite this, the company argued that at present the plant operated on a single shift. Therefore the opinion of the present workforce might not represent the view in the future. This argument was not accepted and certification was granted.

December 10, 1967 the Bargaining Committee was elected. Those elected were Bob Such (Chairman), Bob Bentley, Pete Bulock, Gerry Rodrigue and Bert Rovers.

Once a first contract was negotiated the committee was responsible for the administration of the local union until an election for the Executive and other Representatives could be held.

May 26, a nomination meeting was held and the first Election Committee was also elected.

June 27, 1968 newly elected Preseident Bob Wallace called to order the first General Membership Meeting held by the Local. These meetings were held at the 401 Plaza. The administration offices were initially located in a building next to the plant (now the Flying M).

July 31, the possibility of purchasing property on which to build a Union Hall was first discussed.

May 31, 1969 the Local took possession of an 8 acre parcel of land, including Tempo School, on Tempo School Road in Middlesex County. The cost of the building and the land was $39,000.

June 27, 1972. With these changes the Local could now hold its General Membership Meetings in their own hall. The building also contains a lounge for the use of the members and land behind the building provides recreation facilities.


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