TORONTO (WWJ/AP) – The Canadian Auto Workers union says it has reached a tentative agreement with Chrysler on a labor contract.
CAW President Ken Lewenza says the four-year deal matches a pattern agreement reached with Ford Motor Company, one that includes ratification bonuses and cost of living adjustments.
“The new hiring model that we put in place to enhance our ability to win future investment was ultimately accepted by Chrysler Corporation, as it was accepted by Ford Motor Company and General Motors,” said Lewenza.
Chrysler’s business plan is to keep the three-shift operation at Windsor Assembly Plant which builds the Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans, over the life of the agreement.
“We feel good about this collective agreement, we feel good about Chrysler Corporation and we collectively feel good including everybody in the room, that this is not just about a collective agreement. It’s about integrity, it’s about credibility, it’s about making sure that patterned bargaining works in Canada today and every set of negotiations moving forward,” said Lewenza.
The agreement must still be ratified by the workers.
The Ford and GM contracts cut wages for new hires and freeze pay for current workers. But the contracts also give them lump-sum payments to cover inflation and for ratifying the deal.
The deals avoided strikes and the possibility the Detroit automakers would move future production south. The companies had said Canada was the most expensive place in the world to make cars and trucks.
The CAW represents about 21,000 auto workers in Canada and about 16 percent of auto production in North America.
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