The Canadian Auto Workers union appears to have completed an unprecedented round of wage negotiations with Detroit-based auto makers, as it lands tentative deals withCorp. and LLC.
If the GM andcontracts are ratified by the rank and file, the CAW will have succeeded in locking up new labor agreements some four months ahead of the Sept. 16 expiration date for the current contracts.
The CAW says the GM and Chrysler pacts follow the pattern set byMotor Co., which ratified its new contract earlier this month.
The new agreements go into effect when the current contracts expire and run through Sept. 14, 2011.
The deal with GM includes what CAW President Buzz Hargrove calls “a groundbreaking closeout agreement” for workers at the Windsor, ON, Canada, transmission plant, which GM announced earlier this week would shut down in second-quarter 2010.
“We got retirement incentives, buyouts, a grow-in (and) pro-rated pensions – all of the things you can do to protect people who are caught through no fault of their own in what’s a tragedy happening to our industry in Canada,” Hargrove says in a news conference today.
The deal also saves jobs for some 900 workers who were to be laid off at the Oshawa, ON, truck plant in September. GM now will keep both shifts in operation at the facility until September 2009.
In addition, the auto maker pledged another product for the Oshawa car operation where the new Camaro will be built. GM also penciled in production of a new 6-speed transmission at its St. Catharines, ON, engine plant and designated St. Catharines and Oshawa as sites for next-generation V-8 engine production.
Hargrove had designated buyouts for Windsor workers and new product commitments at Oshawa and St. Catharines as lynchpins to any new labor agreement.
The Chrysler deal calls for the auto maker to bring a new-generation of passenger cars into production at the Bramalea, ON, plant in 2010 and keep a casting plant near Toronto open until mid-2011. Chrysler will seek a joint venture partner or buyer for the casting operations after that.
Chrysler promised its Windsor plant would remain the hub for minivan production, maintaining three shifts there as long as demand holds up. Minivans also are produced at a facility in St. Louis.