By on September 17, 2012

Ford and the CAW have reached a 4 year collective agreement to Sept 2016. Details from the CAW press conference below.

Under the proposed terms of the agreement, set to last until September, 2016, the CAW will make some concessions; a two-tier wage progression will be extended from 6 years to 10 years (as was rumored), while the cost-of-living adjustement will be jettisoned, with lump sum payments of $2,000 in years 2, 3 and 4 of the agreement, as well as a $3,000 ratification bonus (to be paid within 4 weeks of members ratifying the contract). The COLA adjustment will return briefly in June 2016.

There will be no base wage increase for CAW members, while active members will not see a change in their pension plan. New hires will get a hybrid pension plan similar to that used by Air Canada, that combines elements of both the defined benefit and defined contribution pension plans.

In return, Ford will re-hire the estimated 800 laid off workers from the St. Thomas, Ontario plant, while adding 600 new jobs at their Oakville assembly plant. A third shift will add 230 jobs, while a new vehicle based on an all-new global platform in 2014 will add 300 jobs.

Lewenza will ask GM and Chrysler to accept this agreement as a pattern, and also stated that Toyota and Honda were watching the negotiations closely. As we know, the second half of that statement is a bunch of horse excrement, along with assertions that Korean auto makers are dumping their product on the Canadian market, while denying access to Canadian made vehicles.

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51 Comments on “CAW Reaches Tentative Agreement With Ford, Details Announced...”


  • avatar
    BrianL

    I read this as Ford got what it wanted and they rehired some people. Anyone else see this the same?

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      I read this as Toyota, Honda, and Nissan got what they wanted. Union costs result in Ford products which exhibit exorbitant pricing and subpar brand level reliability. When you can’t afford engineering, reliability suffers.

      I just saw a 13 Honda Accord LX base model. Nice interior. Alloy wheels. Nice trim. How? No union bills.

      • 0 avatar
        rnc

        Funny my mom just bought a fusion over an accord, I’m legally blind, but the glasses work, perhaps a visit to your local ophthalmologist would be recommended?

        And I think engineering excellance left Honda a long, long time ago in a galaxy far away (however there are rumors of a rebel alliance working on a super simple, super low cost hybrid, with superior everything that’ll blow the deathstar up)

      • 0 avatar
        grgmcken

        Jimmyy …You are the most uneducated person I have ever seen write on here

  • avatar
    mikey

    Don’t for one moment think, that Toyota and Honda are “not” watching with great interest. How do you suppose the transplants have kept the the big bad UAW/CAW wolf from the door?

    They certainly don’t want a large gap opening up.

    • 0 avatar

      CAW has tried for years and years to unionize at Alliston, and they’re not interested.

      • 0 avatar
        PintoFan

        “they’re not interested”
        Who? Management or the people that actually put the cars together? Because they’re two different kinds.

        You miss the point: a large portion of the transplant’s union avoidance strategy is to compensate at or near union levels. You would be foolish to think that they don’t watch all the contract talks closely, because as mikey said, their entire operation hinges on not allowing a large gap to form.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        At this point a large gap would be great for the transplants. The 3 zombies would begin shuttering plants and nobody would ever ask for a raise again.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        PintoFan nailed it exactly right. The real reason for the transplants not showing any interest in being unionized is that they get most of what the union could get for them without the baggage that comes with representation. Anybody who thinks otherwise is deluding themselves. Should the union fail, however, those decent pay plans at the transplants will vaporize in a greedy corporate minute.

        BTW: Giving up the COLA is a big concession…

    • 0 avatar
      thirty-three

      Toyota and Honda would have to be fools to ignore labour strife at a competitor. However, I think the point is that Honda and Toyota are not worried about their own employees trying to unionize. As Derek points, out, the CAW have failed before and will likely fail again.

      • 0 avatar
        jimmyy

        Disagree. Unlike Detroit auto executives, Honda and Toyota executives have courage. Honda and Toyota have the courage to pull the plug on a union plant, then move production to a different country. Just look at how Honda and Toyota moved production away from unionized plants in Japan to non-unionized plants in the US. Detroit executives need to follow this strategy.

    • 0 avatar
      acuraandy

      @mikey @Derek:

      Honda/Acura as a whole is not interested in unionizing. Plants, parts suppliers, dealerships, all of us.

      We’d rather have a job than have unrealistic demands and risk said job. Alliston plant is a microchasm of this attitude.

      That said, we are (and have) moved Pilot/MDX production to Alabama, so…

    • 0 avatar
      FromaBuick6

      You’re absolutely delusional if you think the transplants are interested in the unions and their job killing B.S.

      Meanwhile, in Chicago, an early poll showed that a majority of residents support the teacher’s union that’s currently on strike. It takes all kinds.

      I’m probably going to have to take a small pay cut next year. That’s after I took a 10% pay cut when I moved/changed jobs last year. I’m just happy to have a job at all. I’m an EE and when I started college I was told I could practically write my own ticket when I got out. Except the economy took a big crap and that never happened. Life’s rough sometimes, and right now we all have to sacrifice and cut back.

      The unions and their extortionary tactics can go to hell.

      • 0 avatar
        PintoFan

        It always amazes me that non-union employees can rail against unions in one breath and then talk about how they’re getting screwed by their employer in the next.

        Keep thinking that being disorganized makes you “better.” I’m sure your boss appreciates it.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Get into software friend… the brightest software developers I know have either EE or CE (computer engineering, microprocessors etc) backgrounds… for the record I have neither, my degree is in generic IT bs. I didn’t make dick my first job out of school but in the past seven years my pay has gone up and I’ve never taken (and never will) a pay cut.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        PintoFan,

        The difference is that if we get rid of the fascists then FromaBuick6’s industry will come back and his pay will go up. Unionized industries just go away for good, like US steel, US textiles, commercially viable rail travel, US call centers, and privately funded US car makers. You’ve been indoctrinated instead of educated and so you’ll have to learn the hard way, and it is going to be miserable for you too.

        28-Cars-Later,

        I used to work in IT. 13 years ago I was surrounded by people who thought that they deserved $30 million in stock options for their BCS degrees. Two years later they were driving E-bay growth by selling off all they could loot from their failed employers. Never say never.

      • 0 avatar
        FromaBuick6

        @PintoFan: That’s because non-union employees aren’t stupid enough to demand more money/benefits when their employer/industry/economy is struggling.

        What amazes me is that union employees are utterly incapable of understand how their thuggery screws over their employer and/or the taxpayers, and how their short-term greed ultimately destroys their very own long-term employment prospects. How many more American industries need to go bankrupt and how many jobs need to go overseas before you finally get a clue?

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        you’re just as bad as the ‘bad apples’ from the ‘zombie 3 unions’ if you’re jealous of a UAW/CAW member. Not only have they seen their rank and file get cut in a 1/3, new hires will make less than you. So you can sleep better at night.

        Every time I click on one of these articles I tell myself to not read the comments but I do anyway. Then I learn just how low the B&B can sink when they play their own worlds smallest violin.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        CJinSD,
        You’re disillusional if you think eliminating a union that cannot permeate ANY industry than the one it’s already saddled itself onto will help ‘so-and-so’s’ industry.

        There is PLENTY of industry that has evaporated without a union’s help. Look to the south and it’s high unemployment rates. Its global business, complaining about a union on the internet isn’t going to make everything better tomorrow morning.

        The good news is the standard of living in China is rapidly advancing western levels every day. Mexico? Speaking from personal experience: not so much.

      • 0 avatar
        PintoFan

        @CJ:
        “The difference is that if we get rid of the fascists then FromaBuick6′s industry will come back and his pay will go up.”

        I certainly haven’t heard that one before. If you cannot understand the simple economic implications of the “race to the bottom” that totally unrestricted imports inevitably creates, then you are beyond help. You can keep lying to yourself about how organized labor destroyed industry in this country, or you can own up to the truth about trying to compete with low-cost producers on their terms. Nobody wants to question the value of the neoliberal garbage that’s been shoveled on us as sound economic policy, because that would shatter way too many precious assumptions about our exceptionalism. In any other first-world country you would be laughed out of the room.

        @FromaBuick6:
        It’s quite obvious that you have been spoon-fed the same drivel about “job creators” and “the cost of business” that has justified so much pillage capitalism over the last 3 decades. Demanding a first-world standard of living as reward for your labor is not even in the same moral universe as offshoring an entire industry simply for the sake of making a few extra dollars. You are willing to take whatever is dictated to you as “necessary evil” because you are either unwilling or incapable of looking at the current situation with a critical eye.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        I don’t get all this “grateful to my employer” just to have a job BS. Nobody is “owed a job” as the righties would say and I agree with that. But if you think working extra hard and having a lot of skill sets is going to be appreciated in this economy or any other economy I have a bridge for you to buy in Brooklyn. I worked for years (I’m an EE) for a MEP consulting company and it was a one way street with a sign that said “my way or the highway”. I worked countless hours for free, only to be rewarded with a $450 Christmas bonus, the lowest bonus tier they had. And I was a very highly regarded, motivated employee both inside and outside the office. Unions may have let the pendulum swing too far in their favor in certain industries, but anybody who thinks that those industries listed above disappeared because of unions alone is kidding themselves. As long as there is a desperate person to take your job, there will be constant downward wage pressure and the vast majority of companies will be glad to help your standard of living decline. Everybody should rent the movie “Office Space”…that is the new reality…

      • 0 avatar
        acuraandy

        @golden2husky:

        Those of us who are grateful to even have a job are not ‘right wing brainwashed’ or bullshit. The fact of the matter is, those of us who FIX what you engineers snafu is what makes the world go ’round.

        1) Yes, i’m grateful to be working, and as such you, me and everyone else doesn’t have to pay directly for my family’s survival.

        2) My primary beef, among many with ‘organized’ labor, is that the guys at the top will always be rich. It doesn’t matter if it’s union leadership or the fat cats at RenCen. Serfdom is disguised as an iPhone. And/or Facebook.

        3) If you do your job well, and are fortunate enough to not work for a heartless, dastardly corporation, you will have a job. Self negotiation is an lost art (sadly) by my generation. This can be equated to the children of the ‘me’ generation the yuppies of the ’80s like my parents that had kids and lived off the hard work and sacrifice of the first great generation (WWII era, et. al.) If you produce, you will likely have a job, corporate downsizing aside.

        4) AS I’VE SAID BEFORE (and in full disclosure, i’m not a union worker), I realize and appreciate what the unions did in the ’30s and ’40s, and also fully realize that i’m able to live well (through hard work) as a result of what they did.
        That said, their time has come and gone, and most companies that have held on through this neo-malaise know that although the economy is shit, and their employees can’t really go anywhere else, that if push came to shove if it got THAT BAD, their key employees would leave. Anyone still in business now realizes this (that hasn’t been bailed out by the US and/or Canadian taxpayer making about half of what the run-of-the-mill UAW/CAW STARTING wage is.)

        To be blunt, CAW, count your blessings and be fortunate that you are even working and not sucking off the government teet via layoff (or worse).

        FWIW, the company i’ve worked for the past decade exceeds the union pay scale and offers PTO and health benefits not offered to most ‘grease monkeys’ :)

    • 0 avatar
      PenguinBoy

      “Don’t for one moment think, that Toyota and Honda are “not” watching with great interest. How do you suppose the transplants have kept the the big bad UAW/CAW wolf from the door?

      They certainly don’t want a large gap opening up.”
      @Mikey – I think you hit the nail on the head here.

      I work in a different industry, and we have a mix of union and non union facilities. The non union facilities pay about the same as the union shops, and so far organizing drives haven’t got much support since pay and benefits for the rank and file wouldn’t increase with a union, but they would need to pay union dues.

      The non union shops match or exceed the pay and benefits of the union shops. I really can’t see how Toyota and Honda would be any different in this regard.

      • 0 avatar
        jimmyy

        I don’t buy this. Honda and Toyota blue collar folks know Honda and Toyota will shut a unionized plant. That is how this works.

        Furthermore, Honda and Toyota executives know unions are killing Detroit automakers. What a deal for Japan.

    • 0 avatar
      mannygg

      @ golden 2 husky – You are wrong. Normally, I wouldn’t reply (since the CAW doesn’t really interest me that much), but the statement that “… if you think working extra hard and having a lot of skill sets is going to be appreciated in this economy or any other economy..” is completely false.

      I have never worked in the US, but have worked for 4.5 years since leaving University, with 2 different companies on 2 different continents in 2 different industries and my pay has ALWAYS reflected my worth (hard work + capabilities). In fact, even though I accepted an ‘average’ wage with my new job, I was given a 25% pay rise at the end of my trial period (+ a bonus increase to 5k).

      The ONLY reason for this was my efforts and my negotiations with my Manager. For reference – I am an EE.

      EDIT: Of course I every company is not that same, but there are certainly plenty of good employers that appreciate good employees. People dont always have the flexibuility to choose, but I can’t imagine anyone staying with an employer that cut wages or undervalued its employees.

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        I’m am engineer, too. This is correct.

        There’s something wrong with you guys’ industries, employers, or geographical locations; because in my experience engineers in the US have excellent opportunities and pay despite the recession.

        In 2008 I took a new job and got a 50% pay increase by doing so. Since then, I’ve been employed by a place that values my skill set, treats me well, and provides regular bonuses and pay increases.

        My girlfriend came out of school with an EE degree in late 2008 in the heart of the recession and walked straight into a job that she enjoys, that also provides great pay and frequent pay increases.

        My best friend is an engineer, too. He didn’t like his old boss, so in 2009 he literally told him to “Go F himself” and quit. Two weeks later he had a new job that he like more making more money.

        Every single person I have kept in touch with from engineering school has been able to find good jobs that pay well without undue difficulty across a variety of industries and locations. Every. Single. Person.

        If their employer treats them poorly they quit, and then make the same or more money elsewhere. I know I didn’t take 5 types of calculus to be dumped on by some middle-manager who doesn’t know enough to do an oil change.

        I suggest you guys figure out why your experiences are so different from what I’ve described above, and set about fixing it. From your descriptions, it sounds like you are not aggressively negotiating better circumstances for yourself and perhaps not fully exploring all the opportunities that may exist for you.

      • 0 avatar
        redmondjp

        bikegoesbaa: How old are you, and what industry are you working in?

        I am an EE with 22.5 years’ of exeprience in a multitude of industries (power, nuclear plant instrumentation, portable electronics design/mfg, vehicle component manufacturing and systems design, and now back to power again). The race to the bottom as described above is very true and you are naive if you think otherwise.

        Just as an example, I turned down a job offer with an engineering consulting firm last month – it would have meant a 20% pay CUT in my base salary. Their top-level engineers with a PE and 20 years of experience, in a high cost of living area, are still under $100K base salary (I couldn’t even believe it).

        Contrast that to the tech workers starting out of school for $80-90K that have ZERO years of experience. There are serious inequities out here!

        Again, how old are you, what industry are you in, and what part of the country? Because it ain’t all roses out here in the trenches, that’s for darn sure.

        And you may thing that things are great now, but when you are into your 40s – 50s, most companies want to flush you out and replace you with a much cheaper 20-something version of yourself. Word.

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    Didn’t I call it? It’ll go to the last hour for GM but the CAW won’t strike. It looks like they have kept 2 tier wages off the table as well which looks to be a big success for Lewenza.

  • avatar
    mr_muttonchops

    Wow, even the Lincoln plants are rebadged Fords.

  • avatar
    rjones

    +1 Good one. I drive by that plant every day and have always thought they could have done a better job at hiding the old “Mercury” sign.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      It’s the ASRS for the plant (storage / ‘automated’ queue of painted bodies). The old paint just behind it (old truck paint shop) was torn down this year. The plant was prepped for a CAW renewed agreement.

  • avatar
    mikey

    @ tresmonos,Me thinks that you might actually know what your talking about.

    BTW.. ASRS= Automated Storage and Retrieval System.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      I know, just putting it into simpler terms for the masses. I launched for a few years at OAC. It was a great experience and learned plenty from the workforce. Watching them clear the plant for new life was almost as cool as watching footings get pounded into the bedrock at Kansas City for their new stamping plant.

      I also never got the stereo typical gruff everyone told me to expect from the plant. Maybe it was the King’s English that made me fit in :) Lots of long hours and great memories there.

  • avatar
    Neumahn

    If the auto workers really wanted to change things they need to send people to Japan and China and get those people to unionize. Unions, much like communism, cannot really exist in just part of the market. It is an all or nothing proposition.

    • 0 avatar
      silverkris

      Uh, Japan does have unions. They just aren’t particularly militant or strong (though in the 1950s they were), they’ve been co-opted by the corporations.

      China also, on paper, has worker’s unions, and in many or all major employers, workers have to join them. However, they aren’t really independent unions in the Western sense – they’re really a means for the Communist Party to control them. For many organizations, the workers’ committee is tasked with arranging outings, events, and parties for staff – sort of a social and recreational committee. In any case, industrial action in the so-called “workers’ paradise” is not uncommon – there has been a number of work stoppages at auto plants in China, including Honda.
      Wages in China’s manufacturing sector have been increasing rapidly over the past decade, such that it is no longer a really cheap labor country anymore.

  • avatar
    areader

    @newmahn:

    Are you not aware that Japan does have unions?

    @union bashers in general:

    Consider the strength of the middle class in the US in years past when union membership was much higher than today and how the fall off of union membership has tracked with the decline of the middle class. The loss of jobs and skills here was not caused by unions, but by the lack of a strong working class. If unions were the cause of economic decline, our economy should have been on the ropes when unions were strong, but that’s not the case. Not that facts will alter views of many of course.

    At this point, both political parties are controlled by the monied interests and both presidential candidates would follow nearly identical policies. Obama pushed through the extension of the so-called Bush tax cuts for the rich. Obama has more wars going than Bush managed to sustain. He claims to be winding down in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he’s cranking things up in Yemen and other spots. He pretends to favor some policy but rolls over at the slightest opposition. Not that Romney would/will be one bit better. Things will have to get a hell of a lot worse before people are willing to hear the truth.

  • avatar
    silverkris

    @jimmyy: “Disagree. Unlike Detroit auto executives, Honda and Toyota executives have courage. Honda and Toyota have the courage to pull the plug on a union plant, then move production to a different country. Just look at how Honda and Toyota moved production away from unionized plants in Japan to non-unionized plants in the US. Detroit executives need to follow this strategy.”

    Japanese auto companies are moving production away from Japan primarily because of the high yen, not necessarily because they’re anti-union. They also consider market potential and economic justification.

    Toyota used the NUMMI facility in Fremont, CA for nearly 30 years, and it was a UAW shop, and a very successful plant. They only closed it due to a combination of a slump in the demand due to the economic slump and GM walking away from the JV due to its own troubles. Also by that time, the supply chain wasn’t as advantageous given that all the other vehicle plants in CA had moved away – so there were fewer local suppliers. The Nissan plant in Sutherland, UK is also unionized as well.

    Would these companies prefer not to have a unionized workforce? Sure, but they aren’t as virulently anti-union as you might think. And they also know that they will have to keep wage levels at or near unionized levels in order to disincentivize organizing.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Careful with this logic. Look what happened to Boeing when they tried to move a plant to a right to work state (SC). Lets assume Toyota plants went union and Toyota shuttered those plants and moved to Mexico. Given the current Administration’s cozyness with the union do you think such a move would happen without some sort of penalty? I would imagine a fat tariff on your Mexican built Camry followed by more media frenzy about “safety” issues. They may have the courage, but the UAW has the lobby.

      • 0 avatar
        silverkris

        Your comments are probably directed at the jimmyy quote I cited. You do make some good points.

        I don’t think Toyota would shutter their USA plants if they went UAW, at least not in the short term, given the difficulty of shifting large scale operations on short notice. Their Georgetown, KY facilities are probably their largest operation outside of Japan. They might over time not expand the union plants and try to build elsewhere, though.

        I’d hardly call the Obama Administration really cozy with the unions – they held the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC, a non-union town, which rankled the unions a bit. You can also see Rahn Emanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff, battling it out with the teachers in Chicago. Of course, compared with the GOP, they’re union-friendly, but that’s not saying much.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    Not really a union fan in general, but if the transplants peg their raises to what the Unions do and the unions go away, then would they continue to get raises? If not, would they continue to be anti union.

    I have warmed up somewhat to unions in watching how my brothe in law is fairing in the American Airlines bankruptcy. They definitely need some reform and a healthy dose of reality in some cases, but we are better with them than without as a nation I think. I do not want to do my shopping at the company store thank you.

  • avatar
    oldyak

    unless i`m mistaken,if you are non union you can`t demand anything…you can ask!
    Yea lets walk in the bosses office and demand a raise!
    Unions are dead and so goes collective or non collective bargaining!
    Companies have the upper hand and will use it to their advantage every time.
    Until they feel comfortable with the profit margin the associates wont get shit!
    All you Union haters wake up!!!

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      I think you’re mistaken.

      I’m not in a union, and I demand things from my employer all the time.

      About 3 months ago I demanded a raise and an extra week of vacation; or I would go work somewhere else.

      I got my raise and vacation. Is that not an example of non-collective bargaining?

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Some people have a difficult time with concepts outside of the confinements of ‘agreements’ and ‘rules’ to follow. Probably the reason most people feel that legislation and regulation is the answer to all of life’s woes.

      • 0 avatar
        Volts On Fire

        Not everyone is competent at their job or confident in their abilities. For these downtrodden slops, we apparently need unions to offer them a safety blanket.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    I used to be in a TRADE union. We worked with the site supervisor to get work done, hit production schedules, cooperate with other unions, and work safe. Responsibility fell on the worker to get the job done with full understanding if you couldn’t keep up; you were gone. What did we bring to the employer? Classroom training and documented on the job experience. Not everyone can walk high iron or rig a lift safely.
    I think part of the anti-union hate is because people have been brainwashed to “go to college, get a good job with a big company” and their life resembles “Office Space” more than they will ever admit. Get my hands dirty?; I went to college,I work in a cubicle, such things are beneath me. I have days I really miss working outside.

  • avatar
    Nick

    Ok Ford, if you are listening…I drive past this plant whenever I visit my parents. It is plainly evident where you removed the letters ‘Home of the Windstar/Freestar’. You can even see it in this picture. It looks like crap, can you really not paint over it?

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      that is based on a plant budget, not a corporate one. You may see it freshen up since they just knocked down the old paint shop before it turned into a complete eyesore.


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