The Canadian Auto Workers union reports talks with the Detroit Three auto makers over a new 4-year labor contract have accelerated since Monday, when the labor group said a strike appeared imminent.
“Over the last few days, meetings have picked up and are now taking place more frequently,” the union says in a leaflet sent to members and obtained by WardsAuto. “Much to our disappointment though, these meetings have not yielded many results.”
Earlier in the week, the CAW said negotiations effectively had stalled because, and wanted concessions from the union such as a 2-tier wage structure, where new hires earn less than current employees, and the permanent elimination of cost-of-living adjustments and reductions in other benefits.
The CAW repeatedly has said it would not relent to those demands and wants its members reimbursed in the new contract for sacrifices made during the recession to help keep the auto makers afloat.
Strike notifications already have been sent to local union halls and in today’s leaflet the CAW says members have begun mobilizing. The current contract expires Sept. 17.
The auto makers say they need concessions from the CAW to keep operating in the region, because a strong Canadian dollar makes it the most expensive place in the world to build vehicles. The CAW has yet to organize at Asian auto makers producing in Canada.
“All three companies appear to be fixated not merely on cost containment, but on deep concessions that would have a lasting and severe impact on our members,” the union says. “CAW committees at, and are working around the clock in an effort to fight concessionary demands and reach a fair agreement.”