Canadian Auto Workers threatens Detroit Three with strike image

Canadian Auto Workers union today announced it could go on strike at all three Detroit automakers for the first time ever.

The CAW warned that if it does not see more progress in contract talks, it will recommend its member workers to stop all activities in plants.

The Canadian union said its local unions will form strike committees at Ford of Canada, General Motors of Canada and Chrysler Canada this week. CAW’s contracts with the automakers expire at 11:59 p.m. on September 17.

“It is our hope and intention to reach an agreement with at least one of the three companies before the deadline. We must be prepared, though, to shut down operations at all three, should we be unable to reach an agreement,” the union said in a letter to its members.

Usually, the union picks a lead company to focus on in contract talks, with the other two automakers expected to follow the pattern. In the past, strikes have occurred more frequently at the lead company. However, the CAW warned last week that it could break with tradition and continue talks with all three carmakers at the same time.