CAW reaches tentative labour deal with Chrysler
Published Wednesday, September 26, 2012 11:47AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 26, 2012 10:07PM EDT
The Canadian Auto Workers’ union has struck a tentative deal with Chrysler and now has agreements in place with all Big Three automakers, which also include Ford and General Motors.
The CAW announced late Wednesday that the four-year agreement with Chrysler meets the pattern established with Ford and GM contracts.
“We achieved the entire pattern, intact,” CAW president Ken Lewenza said at a news conference.
He said Chrysler has agreed to the same wage and benefit terms as the other automakers, as well as payouts of $2,000 to workers in the second, third and fourth years of the contract to cover cost-of-living increases. Employees will also get a $3,000 ratification bonus.
New hires at all three companies will make $20 per hour, down from $24. They will be able to reach full pay of $34 per hour after 10 years on the job.
Lewenza said Chrysler initially resisted the cost-of-living payments.
Now, “we are satisfied that we have a reasonable deal” which will help Chrysler “grow in Canada,” Lewenza said.
He said Chrysler can take advantage of the lower pay for new hires because, unlike Ford and GM, it does not have to recall hundreds of laid-off workers with seniority.
“We feel good about this collective agreement. We feel damn good about Chrysler Corporation,” Lewenza said.
CAW had threatened to strike if negotiations failed to progress.
Ford workers voted 82 per cent in favour of the new labour deal last weekend. The GM contract has yet to be ratified and Chrysler’s 8,000 workers will likely vote on their deal this weekend.
With files from The Canadian Press