WINDSOR—More than 600 Unifor Local 444 members at TRQSS, a seatbelt manufacturing plant in Windsor, ratified their first contract this weekend making significant economic and equity gains.
“This is a very strong first contract and a major achievement for workers at TRQSS as well as Unifor auto parts workers as a whole,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “By joining together with auto parts workers across Canada and successfully negotiating this first contract, TRQSS workers have significantly improved their working conditions and helped strengthen standards for workers across the industry."
The new contract includes a range of important improvements, including a 4% immediate wage increase, a 9% wage increase overall, and an annual Christmas bonus valued at $400. Pension benefits were also improved, and the contract introduced job security, full seniority job posting, current product security, apprenticeship, and anti-contracting out language.
“I am proud of TRQSS members and strongly believe this first agreement is a massive first step in the right direction,” said Dave Cassidy, Unifor Local 444 President. “I would say that the most crucial gain of this contract is that workers at this plant are no longer fighting for any single issue on their own. With this first contract comes proper union representation, a legally binding agreement and a collective voice for better standards in your workplace for years to come."
TRQSS workers will also receive an additional annual paid holiday, three personal paid days off each year, a provision for banked overtime, vacation scheduling improvements, company-paid prescription safety eye wear, and the full cost of PPE will now be covered by the employer.
The first contract will also introduce Unifor’s ground-breaking women's advocate and racial justice advocate programs to the TRQSS plant.
TRQSS workers are among the newest members of Unifor, having joined the union earlier in 2023 and are part of a recent swell of successful union drives throughout Canada’s auto parts industry.
The union continues to push for a broad range of policy recommendations to better protect Canada’s autoworkers through its comprehensive auto policy, Navigating the Road Ahead: Rebuilding Canada’s Powerhouse Auto Sector.