Unifor occupation of Milton plant comes to end after cease and desist order issued
Halton Regional Police say the occupation ended 'peacefully' early Saturday, no one arrested
Halton Regional Police say an occupation by Unifor members of the Northstar Aerospace plant in Milton has ended peacefully.
Staff Sgt. Richard Dodds, of the Halton Regional Police's Halton Hills and Milton division, said Saturday that members of Unifor have left the building without incident. No one was arrested.
"My understanding is that they cleared out peacefully," Dodds said. "Our officers were on the scene."
In a news release, the union said a cease-and-desist order brought an end to the occupation, which began at about 3:30 a.m. on Thursday.
"Unifor will continue the fight for fair pensions for Local 112 members and for all workers," the union said Saturday.
The plant currently produces gears and transmissions for Boeing.
Sgt. Paul Rudall, a labour dispute officer for the Halton Hills and Milton district of the Halton Regional Police, said he helped to mediate between Unifor and the company. He said Northstar representatives were allowed to enter the plant at 10 p.m. on Friday and the representatives then took control of the plant.
Rudall said police officers left at that time. Dodds said, shortly after 3 a.m., Halton police returned to the scene and determined that the building was empty.
Occupation followed shortfall dispute
The union said it took control of the plant to demand that Northstar and its parent company, Wynnchurch Capital, fund a 24 per cent pension deficit for workers facing job loss.
Unifor said the company has refused to commit itself to funding the pension shortfall after announcing that the Milton plant's equipment would relocate to Chicago and Windsor.
The union said the shortfall, believed to be about $6 million, would affect future and current retirees.
Cease and desist order brings <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OccupyNorthstar?src=hash">#OccupyNorthstar</a> to an end on day 3. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Unifor?src=hash">#Unifor</a> will continue the fight to secure pensions for workers! <a href="https://t.co/WRmJFqdSOY">pic.twitter.com/WRmJFqdSOY</a>—@UniforTheUnion
Northstar Aerospace and Wynnchurch Capital has yet to return a request for comment.
In an earlier statement, Heligear Canada Acquisition Co., which purchased select assets of Northstar Aerospace in 2012, said it is not to blame for pension cuts and Unifor is responsible for the state of the pension.
Heligear had called the occupation an "illegal action."