The agreement with GM features the same modest economic gains that were contained in the CAW's earlier settlements with Ford and DaimlerChrysler, including base wage increases of 45 cents, 30 cents, and 30 cents per hour over the three years; pension improvements; and a $70,000 restructuring incentive to encourage senior workers to retire early in cases of downsizing.
"We never accepted that this pattern agreement penalized GM, and we refused to try to 'buy' our own pattern with offsets or concessions," said Hargrove.
He said the CAW's local committees worked diligently and responsibly with local management to reach agreement on a wide range of efficiencies, cost-saving measures, and productivity initiatives intended to enhance the viability of GM's Canadian operations in light of the parent company's financial challenges.
During the term of the agreement, employment at GM facilities will decline due to more efficient production methods (expected to result in 250-300 lost jobs per year), a reduction in GM's skilled-trades construction crews, and reduced levels at the St. Catharines and Windsor components operations.
"It's inevitable that we'll face some downsizing at GM, as we do at the other two companies," said Hargrove. "GM Canada's plants continue to be the most productive and efficient auto factories on the continent, and this means some continuing downsizing at all locations."
However, Hargrove said the intent of the CAW negotiators is that the downsizing would be accomplished without any involuntary lay-offs, thanks to the restructuring incentive and preferential-hire transfers between GM facilities, if necessary.
CONTACT: CAW Communications, Jim Pare, (cell) (416) 723-2224 or John
McClyment, (cell) (416) 315-3202.