Canadian Auto Workers has made the vote to approve the four-year contract with Ford. The terms of the new contract will not have an impact on majority of existing workers. Most of the changes and concessions will actually affect workers who are hired after September 23, 2012. The compromise agreement, which is likely to set the stage for deals with General Motors and Chrysler, freezes base wages until September 2016, and gives newly hired employees a $3000 signing bonus and a $2000 lump-sum payment instead of an annual cost-of-living adjustment. They will also receive a hybrid defined contribution/defined benefit plan rather than the current workers’ straight defined benefit pension plan.
Under this deal, new hires are paid lower wages than current employees, with a 10-year ‘grow-in’ to match the same wage structure as senior workers. The deal also secures over 600 new jobs in Canada, with the addition of a third shift at the Oakville Assembly plant in the body, paint and pre-trim departments. The deal also indicates that the Oakville plant will build a new model that uses a global platform.
It’s also expected that Ford’s Windsor engine plant will open up about 35 new jobs as part of the agreement. CAW president Ken Lewenza admitted just how important growth and flexibility are. In a statement after the ratification, Lewenza said that Ford members realize that in these unpredictable economic conditions, it would appear that several provisions for this new collective agreement are related to future investment and improved job security. This new agreement will make sure its facilities are positioned well to achieve a strong future in the North American auto industry.