With the CAW’s strike deadline just four days away, the union has apparently tabled a proposal to reduce wages for new hires, a move that would stop short of a true two-tier wage system, but meet a major demand of the Big Three auto makers.
According to The Globe and Mail, New hires at CAW plants currently start at a lower wage for the first six years of their career. The new proposal would extend that period to 10 years, though it wouldn’t implement a permanent two-tier system, such as the one adopted by the UAW.
Auto makers have been demanding that the labor costs for the CAW and UAW reach parity, while the CAW cites a higher cost of living as one of the main factors for the wage discrepancy. While CAW President Ken Lewenza has adamantly opposed a permanent two-tier system, the compromise is a positive sign that averting a strike is in the interests of both parties.
Furthermore, a compromise that impacts new hires, rather than the current rank-and-file, will be an easier pill for CAW members to swallow come ratification time. The Globe also reports that benefits for new hires may be cut back – a move that, if attempted on the current employees, would be poorly received, to say the least.
Now, the only question is, will there be two-tier union dues?