CAW reaches tentative agreement with General Motors
Published Thursday, September 20, 2012 12:13PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 20, 2012 11:03PM EDT
The Canadian Auto Workers union reached a tentative labour agreement with General Motors Thursday after days of round-the-clock negotiations.
The union reached a deal with Ford earlier this week, leaving Chrysler as the only Big Three automaker without a new contract.
The Ford deal put off a Monday night strike deadline, but CAW members working for Chrysler could still walk off the job if negotiations stall. The union has said it will give 24 hours strike notice.
CAW president Ken Lewenza urged Chrysler Thursday night to accept the same deal as Ford and GM, forging ahead with the union’s strategy of pattern bargaining.
“Immediately tomorrow, I would ask (Chrysler) to get serious,” Lewenza said at a news conference.
He said General Motors was initially “very much reluctant to meet the pattern,” but eventually agreed to the same terms as Ford.
The four-year Ford deal contains no increases to base wages, but workers will get $2,000 lump sum payments in the second, third and fourth years of the contract to cover cost-of-living increases. They will also get a $3,000 ratification bonus.
New hires will make 60 per cent of full pay, but will able to reach the maximum wage after 10 years.
The creation of about 600 jobs at Ford Canada -- the majority of them at the company’s Oakville, Ont. plant -- will give 800 laid off workers a chance to return to work.
Lewenza said the deal with GM will “create or enhance” hundreds of jobs.