CAW Members Ratify Contract With GM
Workers with General Motors have voted in favour of a new contract by 73 percent.The Canadian Auto Workers Union says about 4,000 members voted.
CAW members at Ford voted in favour of their agreement last weekend by a margin of 82 percent, CAW workers with Chyrsler will be voting on their new deal this weekend.
CAW president Ken Lewenza says the tentative contracts reached over the past week with Ford, General Motors and Chrysler will better position their operations in Ontario to combat pressures such as the high value of the loonie.
The deals reached with the Detroit Big Three allow the automakers to hire new employees at lower pay and benefit rates for a 10-year phase-in period, while keeping hourly wages for current employees steady over the life of the four-year contract.
Existing workers will instead receive $9,000 over four years in a ratification bonus and payments in lieu of cost-of-living increases. New hires at Ford, GM and Chrysler factories in Canada will begin their careers at $20 an hour, down from the $24 starting wage
under the previous deal, and take 10 years to reach peak pay levels of $34 an hour instead of the six years. New employees will also receive hybrid pension plans instead of pure defined benefit plans for current employees.
(some files by CP)