CAW Reaches New Union Deal With GM

Sep 21, 2012 11:55 AM EDT | Matt Mercuro

Two down, one to go. 

The Canadian Auto Workers union said late Thursday night that they had reached a tentative contract deal with General Motors Co. This announcement comes days after the CAW reached a tentative deal with Ford Motor Co.

''This set of talks with our labor partner have been candid and constructive, reflecting the challenges facing Canadian manufacturers,'' General Motors said in a statement to the Associated Press

The union's focus will now turn to Chrysler, as they are now the last of the Big Three auto making companies without a new union deal. CAW President Ken Lewenza said it has been a difficult few days trying to get GM to agree to a new deal, but in the end they agreed to a similar deal that the union reached with Ford.

The new GM agreement will cut wages for new hires while also freezing pay for current workers. Under the new agreement, GM will now pay new workers 60 percent of the current top wage of $33.89 Canadian dollars or $34.74 U.S. dollars. This would mean that new workers will be paid approximately $20.33 Canadian dollars, or $20.84 U.S. dollars, and can move up to the top wage in 10 years.

Canadian Ford auto workers will be voting this weekend to determine if they agree with the tentative agreement or not. Results will be released Sunday night. GM workers have not decided yet when they will vote on the deal.

GM and Chrysler make the most popular models in Canada that would be in short supply if a strike did occur, which has intensified pressures on the CAW to get a deal done. Some of the more popular models in Canada include the Chevrolet Camaro, Impala and Equinox, and Cadillac XTS. Chrysler is known more for their minivans and models such as the Ram Cargo Van, Dodge Challenger, and Chrysler 300.

CAW has stated that Chrysler has yet to agree to a similar deal that GM and Ford agreed to, but they have made progress. 

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