Canadian Auto Workers Approve GM-Canada Contract
TORONTO (AP) _ The 36,500-member Canadian Auto Workers union on Sunday voted overwhelmingly to approve a new three-year contract with General Motors Corp., the automaker and union said.
Ninety percent of the workers at GM plants in Oshawa, St. Catharines, Windsor, Scarborough, Woodstock, London and Ste. Therese voted to approve the new pact, the auto workers said in a news release.
Production workers voted 93 percent in favor and skilled trades workers were 80 percent in favor of the new contract, it said.
″It meets the immediate needs of our members and addresses their overall social concerns as well,″ union President Bob White said.
The strike-stopping deal, which was reached Thursday, was approved by more than 400 local CAW leaders on Saturday.
Under the agreement, GM of Canada workers will get wage increases of 7.5 percent in the first year, followed by increases of 6.7 percent and 4.8 percent. That includes a cost-of-living increase of $2.38 an hour over the three years.
Under the old contract, GM workers earned an average of $17.82.
″We have wage increases in each of the three years, improved cost-of- living protection against inflation ... more time off the job to spend with the family, and an innovative worker security program to prevent layoffs and ease the impact when they hit,″ White said.
At a van plant in Scarborough, where 2,376 workers face layoffs, the new pact provides employees with hiring preference at other GM plants and additional income protection should the plant close prior to the pact’s expiration date.
The GM-CAW agreement is similar to one the union reached with Ford of Canada in September and union officials have said that a matching pact will be sought with Chrysler of Canada in negotiations that continue Tuesday.