Canadian Auto Workers members have reached new collective agreements with Lear Seating for Kitchener and Ajax, Ontario, plants supplying GM and Chrysler, adding jobs.


The Lear Ajax plant, which closed in May of this year, will re-open in October 2010, employing 250 people. Workers will start being recalled in February 2010, with all of the recalls completed by February 2011.


“It’s a remarkable situation to be able to announce that a closed plant will be opening back up and the hundreds who lost their jobs there will be able to return,” said Jerry Dias, assistant to CAW national president Ken Lewenza.


In Kitchener, where 88% of union members voted for approval, the agreement which was set to expire in 2010 has been extended by a year, with 147 new jobs being added to about the 180 people working there now. Currently there are approximately 325 people on lay-off from the plant.


“After so much bad news that both the Durham and Kitchener-Waterloo regions have endured, it’s really heartening that we were able to negotiate the re-opening of one plant and new jobs for another,” said Dias.


At other Lear facilities in Ontario, the agreement at Lear St Thomas will be in effect until 2011 and a deal has not yet been reached for the Whitby plant.


Lear filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States earlier this month.