CAW Reaches Tentative Agreement with GM, Deal Matches Ford’s
Following Ford’s deal earlier this week, General Motors has reached a tentative agreement with the Canadian Auto Workers union (CAW). Talks ended after nearly three days of negotiation, The Detroit News reports, and the deal mirrors the one struck with Ford.
The tentative agreement will create or maintain 1750 Canadian jobs over the contract’s four-year span, and will keep GM’s Oshawa Assembly and St. Catharines Powertrain plants busy with $675 million in programs. The deal also prevents layoffs of seniority workers, a provision that’s been off the table for more than 20 years.
A third shift on the flex line at Oshawa will be added to create or maintain 900 jobs, while the consolidated line that GM planned to close will be saved until June 2014, maintaining 750 jobs. A second shift on that line is also possible, which would maintain 750 jobs an addition to the 1750 total. The original plan was to move 2014 Chevrolet Impala production to GM’s Hamtramck plant, but the deal ensures the upcoming sedan will be built in both the U.S. and at the Oshawa facility. Though CAW managed to keep Impala production in Canada, it couldn’t secure production of a new vehicle.
Like the Ford deal, CAW’s agreement with GM specifies that newly hired employees must work longer at lower pay before moving up to top-tier wages. Base wages will be set for the next four years, with no cost-of-living adjustments until June 2016. Workers will, however, receive an annual $2000 cost-of-living improvement lump sum beginning next year. A hybrid pension system will be instated for new employees, combining a defined benefit plan with a defined contribution plan. Active union members will see no changes to their pension plan.
Over the next few days, CAW and GM will meet to see that everything is signed. The deal also requires a vote by roughly 5500 local union workers, which will take place at a later date. CAW hopes that Chrysler, the last remaining Detroit Three automaker to strike an agreement with the union, will reach terms that retain full employment and see new investments in the company’s Canadian plants.
Source: The Detroit News