The Canadian Auto Workers union today announced it is facing “unprecedented demands” in contract talks with the Detroit Three automakers.
With only one week before the expiry date of CAW’s agreements with the carmakers, the union said it has no intention of making deep cuts. Last week, the CAW warned that it could strike Chrysler, Ford and General Motors simultaneously if it cannot reach a new contract deal with at least one of them before September 17 at 11.59 pm, when the contracts expire.
According to CAW, GM, Ford and Chrysler demand that both current and future workers move to a defined contribution pension plan from a defined benefit plan and want the elimination of a clause allowing workers with 30 years’ experience to retire with a full pension.
U.S. carmakers also want to create a two-tier workforce, like they managed to do in the contracts with UAW last year. Other requests from the automakers are the permanent elimination of cost-of-living adjustments and further reduction in benefits, such as prescription drug access.
The CAW also said the Detroit Three refuses to commit to any new manufacturing investments in Canada and it wants any reward or bonus workers receive to be offset by cuts. None of the three Detroit carmakers were available to comment.
“All three bargaining committees are determined to reject these demands and reach a fair deal,” the CAW said in a leaflet distributed to members on Monday.