According to information from the Canadian Auto Workers union, the tentative four-year agreement with Ford adds 600 jobs to the company’s Canadian operations and freezes hourly wages but excludes the two-tier wage system implemented in Ford’s contract with the United Auto Workers in the United States.
Instead of the two-tier system, new hires will start at 60% of the current base rate of CAD$34.00/hour with a 10-year grow-in period before reaching the top rate. New hires will also have a restructured pension that the union describes as a hybrid defined benefit/defined contribution plan.
There are no changes in pension programs for current workers and those who retire during the term of the new contract.
Cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) wage adjustments are suspended until June 2016 but the proposed contract includes CPI-linked lump sums of $2000 in each of 2013, 2014 and 2015, as well as a $3000 bonus on ratification. The total is about $3,000 less than UAW potential and there’s no profit-sharing.
CAW President Ken Lewenza said the new jobs and restructuring incentives for senior workers “will allow every laid-off Ford worker today to have either an employment offer or a decent early retirement.”
He said the union’s number one priority is jobs and to “stay in the ballpark” for new investment and to create opportunities for future autoworkers.
Lewenza said the CAW will continue negotiations with General Motors and Chrysler using the Ford proposal as a pattern. The strike deadline is indefinitely suspended as long as progress is being made at the bargaining table. If talks stall, the union has already authorized a strike and could give the company a 24-hour notice of work stoppage.