Toronto, Ontario – The Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) has reached a tentative deal with General Motors of Canada, following an announcement by GM in the U.S. that it has reached a tentative agreement with the United Auto Workers Union (UAW). The Canadian deal follows weeks of intense negotiations for a new collective agreement as part of the company’s North American restructuring process.
The Canadian agreement includes a series of cost-saving provisions, which the company and the union said will reduce all-in labour costs to a level comparable to those paid at Toyota Canada. The provisions include cash compensation, health benefits, other non-wage benefits, and work practices and productivity improvements, along with a comprehensive restructuring of the company’s pension plan.
Through the plan, GM commits to move to funding its pension on a solvency basis. The CAW said that thanks to a combination of upfront contributions and sustained funding commitments over the next several years, GM’s pension funding status will quickly reach levels comparable to Ford and Chrysler in Canada. “This deal will be an immense relief to the more than 25,000 retired GM workers in Canada,” said CAW president Ken Lewenza. “They will sleep much easier tonight.”
Lewenza said the union was able to resist cuts to many core benefits, maintained wages and secured pensions for members at General Motors. The agreement includes all of the cost-saving provisions originally included in the contract negotiated with GM in early March, and all of the changes the CAW negotiated with Chrysler in May. The tentative agreement will go to a ratification vote by CAW members on May 25.