Toronto, Ontario – Ford Canada has entered negotiations with the Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) for a new agreement between the two.

The CAW said that a key condition to reaching a new agreement will be a commitment by the automaker to maintain its current manufacturing presence in Canada as a proportion of its overall North American production. As part of the union’s agreements earlier this year with Chrysler and General Motors, both companies committed to maintaining their existing share of production in Canada, which accounts for approximately 20 per cent of total North American production in each case.

Ford has not requested emergency government assistance and therefore there is no government requirement for the union to reach a new cost-cutting agreement. However, the CAW master bargaining committee said it decided earlier this summer to enter into talks on the condition that the company’s presence in Canada would be solidified in the long run.

The union represents more than 7,000 workers at Ford’s Ontario facilities in Oakville, Windsor, Brampton and St. Thomas. The current collective agreement, reached in April 2008, extends until September 2011 and includes no base wage increases.

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