Canadian GM Workers Approve New Deal

September 27, 2012, 7:00 PM EST

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CAW members at General Motors have approved a new collective agreement by 73 per cent. Voting took place at a series of ratification meetings Wednesday and Thursday in Oshawa, St. Catharines and Woodstock, Ontario.

The agreement with General Motors follows the pattern agreement reached with Ford on September 17. Ford workers voted in favour of that agreement by 82 per cent.

The GM agreement includes a $3,000 quality and productivity bonus for workers upon ratification as well as cost of living lump sum payments of $2,000 in each of 2013, 2014 and 2015. It offers protection of current pension benefits for existing workers, as well as investment and employment commitments in all locations.

CAW President Ken Lewenza said the GM agreement shows the importance of pattern bargaining in the auto sector.

"Pattern bargaining allows the CAW to concentrate its collective strength on one company at a time and create a level playing field on compensation that extends throughout the auto industry," Lewenza said.

Below is the breakdown of the GM ratification votes by classification:
Production - 72 per cent
Skilled Trades - 79 per cent

The CAW has also reached a tentative agreement with Chrysler. Ratification meetings are scheduled in Windsor, Brampton and Etobicoke, Ontario on Saturday, September 29 and Sunday, September 30.

The CAW represents 21,000 workers at the Detroit Three auto companies, including more than 8,000 GM workers (including 2,500 at CAMI in Ingersoll, Ontario).

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