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Autoworkers reach deals with Big Three in Canada

27 September, 2012IndustriALL Global Union affiliate Canadian Auto Workers reached a new contract with Chrysler, thus finalizing negotiations with all three big automakers in Canada: Ford, General Motors and Chrysler.

Late on 26 September 2012, CAW finalized negotiations and signed a new tentative four-year agreement with Chrysler. This was the last of three agreements with the biggest auto makers in Canada. The agreement is to be submitted to a vote by the workers for their final approval, with 82 per cent of auto workers already voting in favour of the Ford agreement. The agreement with General Motors is currently going through the approval vote.

In a bid to get concessions from the union during the negotiations the automaking companies had claimed Canada became the most expensive place for production of cars and trucks because of a strong Canadian dollar vis-à-vis the US dollar, therefore making it expedient to move production south. The Canadian share of production currently accounts for 16 per cent of North America.

The union managed to get a similar deal with Chrysler within the patterns set by previous two agreements, which includes a C$3,000 bonus for members after ratification and cost of living lump sum payments of C$2,000 in December of 2013, 2014 and 2015. It also provides protection of current pension benefits for existing workers.

Also, Chrysler agreed to the same 10-year new hire grow-in program included in the Ford and GM agreements with new hires starting at C$20.40, which is equal to 60 per cent of the current base rate, growing to full compensation after 10 years.

More details are on CAW website www.caw.ca