November 27, 2014


Lorain Council resolution backs Camaco union effort

LORAIN — Unionizing efforts at Camaco got a symbolic boost Monday from City Council members.

Members approved a resolution calling on the auto parts maker to “respect the rights of its employees to form their union if they so choose.”

The resolution notes that Camaco has received past Lorain taxpayer support through low-cost loans, land sales and infrastructure improvements.

The resolution was sponsored by Councilman Brian Gates, D-2nd Ward. Camaco, at 3400 Industrial Park Road, is in Gates’ ward. Gates said he was asked by Jim Slone, United Auto Workers Community Action Program president, to sponsor the resolution

The resolution comes after allegations of union-busting by Camaco. In 2011, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that a Camaco manager was “coercively interrogating” two workers and unjustly fired one of them after they tried to unionize in 2006.

Gates said by phone after the meeting that he didn’t know if those allegations were true but he believes workers “should have the right to organize into a union if that’s what they believe they need.”

Matthew Fox, a Camaco worker who said he was indefinitely suspended April 14 by Camaco for unionizing efforts, said the resolution, while symbolic, will have an impact.

“It’s going to show some of the workers who are undecided or who are a little apprehensive about throwing their support behind organizing that Camaco is not entitled to intimidate and lie to the workers,” said Fox, who said he has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board about his suspension. “Camaco has been intimidating people and that’s just not right.”

Reached before the meeting, Dave Smith, Camaco vice president of operations, wouldn’t say whether the resolution will affect unionizing efforts. Smith said Camaco, “recognizes the right of every employee to join or support any union and their right to refrain from doing so.”

Lorain County commissioners on May 21 approved a diluted version of the resolution passed Monday. The county resolution didn’t name Camaco. While the 1935 National Labor Relations Act legalized the right of workers to unionize, commissioners refused to name Camaco, fearing Lorain County might lose federal taxpayer money if seen as taking sides in a labor dispute.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or

  • SniperFire

    ‘Members approved a resolution calling on the auto parts maker to “respect the rights of its employees to form their union if they so choose.”

    That is fine. Did they also resolve to respect the rights of employees not to be forced to join such union as a condition of working there?

  • stillsleepyeyes

    Bye bye camaco…………..another business ran out of town………………..

  • Larry Crnobrnja

    Why is the city council interfering? Their time would be better spent filling pot holes and cutting grass.

    • stillsleepyeyes

      that would require them to do there jobs…………

    • golfingirl

      To get the Democrat vote…..why else?

      (I know, they already have it anyway!)

  • therest_ofthestory

    Why would City Council have to vote on this? It is the right of the employees to organize if they so choose. This is grandstanding. A hollow meaningless gesture.

    • SniperFire

      I think City Council just wanted to make a strong statement that if you are considering bringing jobs and doing business in the city of lorain, you had better run, not walk to a less hostile part of the State.

  • SniperFire


  • GreatRedeemer

    Camaco is dependent on the auto industry. It’s ironic that non union
    suppliers make up the brunt of parts to these bastions of unions. Not that im surprised but I thought that government represented all of the people.

    • golfingirl

      And the unions will take these workers right down with them.

      • Greed Kills

        Must be a manager golfing on company time while jealous that a worker might make a livable wage then goes to church acting like a caring person. Jesus loves everyone

        • golfingirl

          Since it is my company, I can golf whenever I please.

          If you expect an apology for having a successful business, and enjoying a high quality of live, which I earned, you better look elsewhere. It will never come from me.

          I believe in equal opportunity, but that does not mean equal results.

          As for the minimum wage, I really could care less what it is. If your idea of a a great living is $15 per hour, go for it.

          Just keep your hands off what I have earned!

          • gun lover

            Spoken like a true Republican . I have mine so I don’t care about anyone else.How did you really get yours? By fudging your business expenses on your income tax forms. filing for government handouts for your business. Ya you got yours doesn’t mean you actually earned it

          • golfingirl

            Oh I earned it all right, every penny!

            No government handouts, and an enormous personal tax burden.

            If one is not content with their income, then do something about it.

            Like anything else, you are only worth what someone is willing to pay for your work. Don’t feel you make enough, then find a marketable skill and demand more.

            But, you are never “entitled” to anything another earns. Never! At least not in this country.

            You are wholly, 100% responsible for yourself….and this includes your earnings. Not happy with yours, do something about it.

            Oh, and by the way, I am not a Republican.

          • guest

            Tea bagger?

        • HankKwah

          Almost all folks that earn a “livable wage” have some education or skill that they perform. Flipping burgers and filling soda cups is something that can be taught in less than five minutes. Thus, they earn a minimum wage.

          • gun lover

            You are really living in La La land

          • HankKwah

            You are if you think otherwise.

            If it takes you longer than that to learn how to flip a burger or drop fries, you have larger issues than trying to make more than minimum wage.

            There are special programs that folks like you can take advantage of.

  • levtrotsky

    What is next, a Seattle type resolution to fix $15 an hour as the minimum wage in Lorain ??

    • Greed Kills

      sounds fair to the average worker.Bet you don’t live off of the federal minimum wage of $7.50 an hour. Jesus loves everyone

      • levtrotsky

        The Soviet Satellite governments had universal wage for everyone, regardless of skill, motivation, education, etc:
        do you prefer that system over ours?

        • speed trap

          Which one would Jesus chose?

          • levtrotsky

            evasive & dumb reply……….

  • TheRustyScupper

    Magna is the 2nd largest auto parts supplier in the world. They do not stand for unionization. If City Council wants to help the union, be prepared for the company to move out, as they have done several other times. (In fact, in another state, we closed my Magna plant and moved it to Mexico when the UAW tried to muscle-in.) The UAW knows this, and it is why they are trying to get the city government involved.

  • SniperFire

    Force them to move those jobs, Lorain. You can do it!
    Should help your schools.

  • oldruss

    Run this company out of town, why don’t you?!
    It is the employees’ rights to join a union if they choose to do so in an election supervised by the NLRB, using a SECRET ballot.
    It is also the employees’ rights to NOT join this or any union.
    City council apparently forgot that last part.

  • Jet Blk

    Most of you people have no idea what you’re talking about. Camaco received tax breaks and incentives on the basis that they were going to provide good paying jobs which they have not done. City council is involved because of Camaco s illegal union busting campaign. The VP of operations himself said that Camaco is not going anywhere, expanding and added jobs, union or no union. Camaco employees are in the bottom 10% in wages in the automotive seating industry. Yes, a small percentage of employees actually make a good wage, but the vast majority of us live paycheck to paycheck in in or just above poverty. So if you don’t think that hard working Americans don’t deserve a wage they can live on and a little job security because they didn’t go to college, you’re just an a–hole.
    I wish that people didn’t have to join a union to work. But they received non-union wages and non-union benefits for the same work. Then we’ll see how many people sign a Union card.

  • golfingirl

    Nice comment ….you are a classless idiot!

  • Smira29595

    Think you would learn………………

  • Jet Blk


    Yeah, facts make me stupid.

  • golfingirl

    Yeah, add an extra “g” in my name, and change a number in yours and they think they are clever.

    This is at least the third time this has happened to me. I suppose if they can’t beat me, they try to “join” me….laughing.

  • Jet Blk

    Yes. I am African American.

  • Smira29595

    This person is imatating myself & Golfingirl. Best to just ignore.