The CAW is still in talks with Chrysler and General Motors to continue hammering out the details of their labor agreements, but the discussions have reportedly slowed as the two companies comb through the “pattern agreement” reached with Ford.
While work was still under way at GM and Chrysler plants, a strike could still be in effect with 24 hours notice. While talks were still ongoing, the pace appeared to have slowed, as GM and Chrysler pored over the financial aspects of the deal. CAW Nation Secretary Peter Kennedy told Reuters
“Until we get into some meaningful dialogue on the economics – that’s the key hurdle obviously – there’s still a gulf until we know where the companies are at and what they’re thinking and what kind of response that they’re prepared to give.”
Nevertheless, the likely outcome is that the Ford agreement will be adapted, with some minor changes. The rhetoric from both Ford and the CAW leading up to the agreement was strong, yet the deal managed to stave off a permanent two-tier wage system for new hires, while adding new jobs and investment into Ontario’s auto manufacturing sector. In return, Ford shed some of their “fixed costs” by modifying their defined-benefits pension plan, and paying out lump sum figures rather than permanent wage increases.
While Ford managed to restore some jobs for the laid off workers at St. Thomas, it will be interesting to see if the CAW can find some work for those who were laid off the Oshawa consolidated line when Impala production was moved to the U.S.