FRANKFURT – When Chrysler Group CEO Tom LaSorda was growing up the son of a prominent Canadian union leader, Canadian Auto Workers President Buzz Hargrove was a frequent guest in his home.

“I’ve known him for most of my entire life,” LaSorda tells reporters during an interview session at the Frankfurt auto show.

The Canadian-born Chrysler chief remembers his father, Frank LaSorda, planning bargaining strategy in the basement of the LaSorda family home in Windsor, Ont., Canada.

Tom LaSorda

Frank LaSorda was president of United Auto Workers union Local 444, which represented Chrysler Canada Ltd.’s workers before the CAW union was established in a 1985.

Now, as the CAW appears headed for an early agreement with Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd., saying it expects to reach a deal later today, the union is expected to set its sights on DaimlerChrysler Canada Inc. (See related story: CAW Picks Ford to Set Pattern, Puts Chrysler on High Alert)

“I’d like to do (the bargaining) in my dad’s basement again,” LaSorda says. “But I don’t know that that would work.”

Hargrove has said a strike against Chrysler appears “inevitable” because the company is demanding work-rule changes that threaten jobs.

LaSorda, however, is optimistic that the two sides will reach “a responsible agreement” before the current contract expires Sept. 20.