Despite strong effort from both sides, no agreement yet for Ford and CAW
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/01/2012 -- The Canadian Auto Workers Union pushed past midnight in order to reach an agreement with Ford to extend contracts with Chrysler and Ford.
The top officials from both sides asked for more time to look over the deal properly. Workers have agreed to stay at their jobs while the negotiations take place, but they also warn that a strike is a possibility if too much time lapses. The Union is hoping that this pending agreement could work as a template for the other two companies (Chrysler and GM).
Workers will vote on the agreement over thee weekend. In the agreement are cuts to new hires wages, as well as a freeze on existing tenured workers. It does some compensation with a lump-sum to cover inflation and the ratifying of the deal.
Under the new agreement, the new workers will receive 60% of the current top wage. This cuts pay from $34 to $20 per hour. It does not exclude them from earning raises due to proper work accomplishments and milestones.
Union President Ken Lewenza said of the negotiations, “At the end of the day, we're hopeful we'll get a deal," he said. "If it's good enough for Ford, it's good enough for General Motors and for Chrysler."
Lewenza also warns that there is only so many days and hours the workers are willing to wait for an agreement to be found before they strike. He stated, “Our patience only has so much time.”
Art Schwartz, a former General Motors negotiator who now runs a labor consulting business said that if the other two companies do not follow suit with Ford, there could be “major labor issues.”
"I think the CAW is fully prepared to strike if they get a deal with one company and another decides to change it radically," he said.
The companies have stated that Canada is home of the highest costs for car and truck production. They have flexed their capability to move to the United States if Canadian works prove too stubourn to reach an agreement, or decide to strike.
It would take a week or less to relocate the factories to the United States factories.
The CAW represents 21,000 auto workers. Canada accounts for approximately 16% of production in North America. GM and Chysler revenue numbers could be heavily impacted by a strike, as their models are of high demand in the country.
Lewenza said that the deal on the table was a good one considering current economic climates. Ford did not give specifics regarding the deal.
"We believe that the tentative agreement offers unique-to-Canada solutions that will improve the competitiveness of the Canadian operations while providing employees the opportunity to earn a good living," Stacey Allerton, a Ford of Canada vice president, said in a statement.
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