General Motor’s unionized Canadian workers ratify four-year labor deal

Article by Anita Panait, on September 29, 2012

General Motors' unionized workers in Canada have ratified a four-year labor agreement with the United States-based carmaker, the Canadian Auto Workers union disclosed. According to CAW, around 73 percent of the GM workers who cast their votes expressed support for the deal.  The labor agreement involves a $3,000 quality and productivity bonus for workers upon ratification. It also includes cost of living lump sum payments of $2,000 in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

The agreement also provides protection of current pension benefits for current workers, as well as investment and employment commitments in all locations. The labor agreement with GM is the second deal to be reached with a Detroit 3 automaker in Canada after unionized workers at Ford Motor Co. ratified last Sunday a similar agreement with the automaker.

According to the CAW, around 82 percent of voting Ford workers said yes to the agreement. On Saturday and Sunday, it will be the turn of unionized workers in Chrysler Group LLC’s Canadian operations to vote on their agreement with the CAW. Chrysler and CAW reached a tentative four-year agreement late Thursday. The GM ratification was expected, although discussion between the parties went rough since GM held that labor costs had to be reduced.

Under the deal, GM has committed to creating around 900 new jobs at its Canadian operations by adding a third shift to its "flex" line in Oshawa, Ontario. Reflecting the agreement forged with Ford, the GM deal involved freezing wages for current workers for the first three years, although it provides for a cost-of-living adjustment in the fourth year. GM’s workers are entitled to a series of lump-sum bonuses. The agreement also stipulates that new hires will start at a lower hourly rate than under the previous deal and it will take longer to reach the peak of the pay scale.

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Topics: gm, canada

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