CAW reaches Ford deal; extends talks with GM, Chrysler
By Susan Taylor and Allison Martell
TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian Auto Workers union said on Monday it had reached a tentative four-year agreement with Ford Motor Co, and extended talks with Fiat SpA's Chrysler Group LLC and General Motors Co past a midnight deadline.
The union said it had agreed to continue talks indefinitely, and give 24 hours notice before any strike. CAW Chief Economist Jim Stanford said both companies are willing to negotiate around the pattern set by Ford's agreement.
"Both companies must keep working towards the pattern settlement, and both companies have indicated in writing to our leadership that they are prepared to do that," said Stanford.
The union, which has some 20,000 members, had previously warned that without a tentative agreement before contracts expire at 11:59 p.m. on Monday (0359 GMT on Tuesday), it could stop work at one or more of the companies, in what would have been the first Canadian auto strike since 1996.
"We have agreed with the CAW to extend the agreement. We are currently reviewing the tentative agreement that has been reached with Ford," said Chrysler spokeswoman Jodi Tinson in an email.
GM said it had agreed to continue talks.
"GM Canada looks forward to continuing with the constructive dialogue," said GM spokeswoman Adria MacKenzie in an email.
The Ford deal, which will create about 600 jobs at the company's Oakville, Ontario, plant, came after Ford recognized the CAW would not accept a permanent two-tier wage scale for new hires and veteran workers, Lewenza said. Continued...