Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Tony Van Alphen, "Auto bailout deal may be unravelling," Toronto Star, March 13, 2009.

[Bourque points out that the Toronto Star is heavily supported by auto advertising and cites this editorial. -jlt]

A deal for concessions to save teetering automakers in Canada may be unravelling.

  ...87 per cent of GM of Canada workers voted in favour of contract concessions that will freeze their wages, eliminate bonuses and some vacation time and increase health care expenses until 2012.

Ford joined Chrysler yesterday in telling the Canadian Auto Workers that a new deal for concessions at General Motors doesn't reduce labour costs enough so their companies can be viable and qualify for possible government aid.

But union leaders insisted last night that Ford and Chrysler would soon follow the GM pattern contract, despite their public stances.

At Ford, Joe Hinrichs, group vice-president for global manufacturing and labour affairs at the parent Detroit company, said in a statement that ratification of wage freezes and benefit cuts at GM of Canada Ltd. this week will not keep the automaker's Canadian operations competitive in a worldwide economy.

"The GM-CAW agreement will not deliver sufficient labour cost savings compared to auto manufacturing operations in the United States," added Hinrichs who expressed confidence in negotiating a different deal.

"Therefore, we look forward to working with the CAW to find additional cost savings in order to maintain the competitiveness of our manufacturing operations in Canada."

Read the rest here =>
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