The Canadian Auto Workers union and General Motors of Canada Ltd. avert a strike with a tentative agreement that matches the pattern set in earlier negotiations by the auto maker's domestic competitors.

But the union will lose up to 900 jobs over the life of the 3-year deal. “It's inevitable that we'll face some downsizing at GM, as we do at the other two companies,” CAW President Buzz Hargrove says.

“GM Canada's plants continue to be the most-productive and efficient auto factories on the continent, and this means some continuing downsizing at all locations.”

However, Hargrove says the downsizing will be accomplished without any involuntary layoffs, thanks to a C$70,000-per-worker ($59,500) restructuring incentive and a promise from GM to give preferential consideration to displaced employees when conducting future hiring.

As with the deals reached with Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd. and DaimlerChrysler Canada Inc., the GM agreement provides modest wage increases that boost an assembler's hourly base rate to C$32.59 ($27.68) from C$31.54 ($26.79). Basic pensions will increase by C$240 ($205) for a retiree with 30 years of seniority.