Wildcat strike hits Rose City Ford

WINDSOR, Ont. — CAW Local 195 is staging a wildcat strike at Rose City Ford this morning after two employees were suspended, said union president Gerry Farnham.

About 23 union members are preventing customers and workers from entering or leaving the automotive dealership on the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Tecumseh Road East.

No one was available for comment from Rose City Ford as of 8:30 a.m.

Farnham said the union got involved after two of its members, who worked at the dealership for nearly a dozen years, were suspended Tuesday for not holding the proper certifications in their field of work: one in body work, the other in auto painting. The employees have been given 60 days to get certified and save their jobs.

“It appears to me that the employer has provoked the membership and the membership has had enough,” Farnham said.

The suspension was the the last straw in what has been a deteriorating relationship between the company and the union, who have been working without a collective agreement since the contract expired July 24, 2010, Farnham said.

Farnham said things became progressively worse after a decertification vote was held Aug. 12. The workers voted 74 per cent in favour of staying with the union.

“Since that time the employer had a meeting with the employees and told them they were no longer to be up in front office, told them to address them by their surnames and suspended these two employees,” Farnham said.

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