CAW Reaches Tentative Agreement with General Motors

September 20, 2012, 11:35 PM EST

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CAW negotiators have reached a new four-year tentative agreement with General Motors of Canada. The new agreement follows the same core compensation features as in the pattern agreement reached earlier this week with Ford.

CAW President Ken Lewenza announced some of the key details of the agreement at a press conference held at the Sheraton Centre Hotel this evening.

The new agreement includes a $3000 quality and productivity bonus for workers upon ratification as well as cost of living lump sum payments (to be paid before the Christmas holiday period) of $2000 in each of 2013, 2014, and 2015.

Lewenza said the agreement offers protection of current pension benefits for existing workers and incremental improvements in benefits, including dental care.

The company agreed to the same ten-year New Hire Grow-In program as appears in the Ford agreement (where new hires start at $20.40, equal to 60 per cent of the current base rate, and grow in to full compensation after 10 years).

Additional GM-specific aspects of the agreement were negotiated as well, including specific investment and employment commitments in all locations.

GM has committed to create a third shift in the Oshawa Flex assembly plant, starting early next year, which will create or maintain 900 jobs. Production will be extended on at least one shift, and possibly two, for an additional year at the Oshawa Consolidated Plant until June 2014.  That represents an extension of at least 750 jobs (more if the second shift is extended).

GM also made firm commitments to a range of new engine and transmission investments and production in St. Catharines.

In total, the commitments GM is making will create, maintain, or extend 1750 jobs across its Canadian operations (900 on the third Flex shift, 750 or more in Consolidated, and 100 new positions associated with new work in St. Catharines). The company's commitments in Oshawa and St. Catharines involve additional capital spending during this collective agreement of at least $675 million.

Under the company's business plan, and on the basis of economic and actuarial projections, the seniority workforce should be fully employed by the end of the agreement.

The company also confirmed in writing that they will meet the Canadian manufacturing commitment, negotiated with the Canadian and Ontario governments, through the life of this agreement.

The CAW is in the process of setting up membership ratification meetings in Oshawa, St. Catharines and Woodstock.

The CAW is continuing talks with Chrysler with the intent of reaching a third, and final, deal that follows the pattern established at the other two Detroit Three automakers.

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