CAW Workers Ratify Ford Agreement, No Deal With Chrysler

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
caw workers ratify ford agreement no deal with chrysler

CAW members ratified an agreement with Ford with 82 percent in favor of the four-year labor deal that brings an overhaul to the automaker’s pension plan for assembly plant workers, and extends the new hire wage climb process.

GM workers will vote on their contract later this week, while Chrysler remains the sole automaker to still be negotiating with the CAW.

CAW President Ken Lewenza told the Windsor Star that a deal with Chrysler “…should not take more than five or six days…” to be hammered out. As of Monday morning, there was no indication of an imminent agreement. The rumormill suggests that Chrysler is unhappy with the signing bonuses and COLA payments that are a part of the “pattern agreement” with Ford, with the Star saying

Chrysler informed the CAW Friday that the Ford pattern was too expensive. It is particularly opposed to the reinstatement of the cost of living allowance in the last quarter of the four-year deal, which expires September 2016.

The company doesn’t like COLA because it is a fixed cost that kicks in regardless of profitability, and compounds and adds to wage rates over time.

While Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has previously discussed moving production out of Canada if the CAW doesn’t agree to a UAW-style two-tier wage system, doing so, according to the article, would cost about $2 billion.

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  • Thirty-three Thirty-three on Sep 24, 2012

    An 82 percent majority? I'm impressed.

  • Gentle Ted Gentle Ted on Sep 24, 2012

    Chrysler charges Canadians more for all there products, according to the CAW, so they better come around don't you think? Sergio can't have it all his way all the time!

  • Mikey Mikey on Sep 24, 2012

    @thirty-three....I figured around 70-75 percent. I've been retired for nearly four years now. During that time the attitude,or mind set,has certainly changed. Chrysler will settle for the pattern. They have no choice. I'm not sure of the pecentage of production Chrysler is obligated to keep in Canada,as per the bail out agreement of 2009. I do think that Marchionne, isn't going forget this. The long term ramifcations sound a little scary.

    • See 1 previous
    • Dimwit Dimwit on Sep 24, 2012

      @CarShark How old is Sergio? 4 years can be an eternity or a flash, depending. I think too many people are buying into the rhetoric and posturing. A deal will be made and suddenly everyone will be best pals. Watch.

  • 50merc 50merc on Sep 24, 2012

    It isn't surprising the deal was approved by 82%. The question is why there wasn't 100% approval. From the newspaper article: "Pattern bargaining is designed to keep labour costs at a level playing field among the Detroit Three automakers and to prevent the carmakers from "competing on the backs of workers," Lewenza said." On the backs of the workers? Yeah, GM and Chrysler abused the unionized workers so bad they both went bankrupt. It was the backs of the creditors and salaried staff that were left bleeding. Also, "A comparative analysis of the four-year UAW agreement shows GM workers will receive lump-sum payments (not including profit sharing) of $12,250 compared with $15,752 to $16,752 at Ford and $7,800 to $11,800 at Chrysler." In how many other workplaces do ordinary working Joes get such windfalls? If I was on Chrysler's board, I'd be demanding management transfer production to friendlier places ASAP. If Chrysler can make minivans for VW, can't Kia make minivans for Chrysler?