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The History of Bramptons Largest Union Local

In 1949 our members worked for Nash Motors, a division of the Nash Kelvinator Corporation. The plant was located on Danforth Ave. in Toronto and produced the Nash Rambler. At that time our members belonged to UAW Local 1115. Nash Kelvinator was later bought by American Motors. The first contract between the UAW and AMC occurred in 1956. The line speed was 22 cars per day.

AMC built a plant in Brampton at the corner of Steeles & Kennedy Road and in 1961 began building the Rambler. The line speed was 32 cars per shift. Local 1285 received a separate UAW charter that year on May 12th, 1961. Charlie Carr was elected as our 1st President.

Several other workplaces have joined Local 1285 since 1961. There are currently 16 units in the local.

Terry Gorman was the longest serving President of any CAW Local, elected in 1975, he served 6 terms. Buzz Hargrove was our National Rep in 1975.

Bowing to public pressure, in 1977 AMC hired its first sister, Cecilia Palmer. Today, The DaimlerChrysler Brampton Assembly Plant has one of, if not the, highest percentages of female workers of categorically all major automotive assembly plants in North America.

The CAW separated from the UAW in 1985. We received our CAW Charter that year.

What is now known as the Brampton Assembly Plant was built in 1986 by AMC - Renault. Chrysler bought out AMC and acquired both plants in August 1987. The Plant built the Premier, and the Monaco. The line speed was about 250 cars per shift. There was only one shift. There wasn't a lot of work. Layoffs were rampant. The Kennedy Road Plant worked steady producing jeeps.

The LH vehicles: Intrepid, Eagle Vision, and Concorde were intorduced at the "Bramalea" plant.
The Kennedy Road plant was closed on April 4th, 1992.

Our President, Terry Gorman retired in 1993.
Vince Bailey was elected as the President of our Local.

The New Yorker, LHS, and later the 300M were Introduced. The Brampton Plant went to 3 shifts under the AWS system. Chrysler became DaimlerChrysler in the fall of 1998.

In 2001, the 3rd shift was eliminated as a part of DaimlerChryslers financial "Turnaround Plan".
In 2004, the Brampton Assembly Plant started production of the 300C and Magnum.
In 2005, the third shift was restored and an additional vehicle, "The Charger", was introduced.
Chrysler was sold to Cerberus in 2007.
In 2008 the 3rd shift was eliminated. Later in the year the Magnum was dropped from the product lineup. The Challenger was introduced.

The "link to URL" button below takes you to
"History of the Canadian Automobile Workers"

"The CAW The Birth And Transformation of a Union" by Sam Ginden is available online at:

one particular perspective of Canadian Labour History is available at

The PDF file has a few pictures of American Motors Vehicles.
Link to PDF
Link to url
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Last Updated: May 18, 2008 12:52:26 PM