Canadian Auto Talks Open In Toronto
TORONTO (AP) _ Canadian Auto Workers leaders have made improved pensions their top priority at the start of contract talks with General Motors of Canada Ltd.
Negotiations between GM and the union, which represents 40,000 workers, opened on Tuesday. The union was scheduled to exchange proposals today with Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd. and with Chrysler Canada Ltd. on Thursday before negotiators head back to their plants to discuss local issues.
Bargaining at the master table on common issues was scheduled to resume in mid-August.
″It’s not a question of inflation protection for retirees,″ CAW president Bob White told reporters in Toronto, after an hour-long meeting with GM. ″It’s a question of how we fund it and the formula we will use.″
White said linking pensions to the rate of inflation is the top issue with all three automakers. Without it, he said, there will be a strike Sept. 14 at one of the three companies when the current three-year contract expires.
At a separate news conference, Rick Curd, GM’s vice president of personnel, said he was willing to look at the union’s pension proposal.