September 29, 2005

Agreement between GM and CAW union means no involuntary layoffs

Toronto, Ontario – General Motors of Canada and the CAW union have reached a tentative three-year agreement, with the announcement coming less than an hour before the strike deadline of 11:59 p.m. Tuesday September 27.

The agreement features the same economic gains contained in the CAW’s earlier settlements with Ford and DaimlerChrysler, including base wage increases of 45, 30 and 30 cents per hour over the three years; pension improvements; and a $70,000 restructuring incentive to encourage senior workers to retire early in cases of downsizing.

During the term of the agreement, there is expected to be a loss of 250 to 300 jobs per year due to more efficient production methods; a reduction in GM’s skilled-trades construction crews; and reduced employment levels at the St. Catharines, Ontario and Windsor, Ontario components operations. However, Hargrove said the intent is that downsizing will be accomplished without any involuntary layoffs, thanks to the restructuring incentive and preferential-hire transfers between GM facilities if necessary.

GM spokesman Al Green said the agreement provides the means for GM to continue more efficient and productive operations while reducing overall operating costs.

GM of Canada president Michael Grimaldi confirmed that, beginning in the last quarter of 2006, the company will produce two new full-size truck models at the Oshawa, Ontario truck plant, including an all-new four-door crew cab with short box, and four-door extended cab; he also confirmed that the Oshawa car assembly complex will receive new flexible manufacturing systems in the future.

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