TORONTO, Sept. 8 /CNW/ - The CAW is entering into negotiations with Ford
Canada today, with initial talks set to begin this afternoon in Toronto.
A key condition to reaching a new agreement will be a commitment by Ford
to maintain its current manufacturing presence in Canada, as a proportion of
its overall North American production, said CAW President Ken Lewenza.
As a part of the union's agreements earlier this year with Chrysler and
General Motors, both companies committed to maintaining their existing share
of production in Canada - approximately 20 per cent of total North American
production in each case.
"If Ford Motor Company is serious about reaching a new agreement with our
union, it must commit to maintaining, and hopefully expanding, its Canadian
production footprint," said Lewenza. "Already Ford's proportional Canadian
presence is much smaller than that of General Motors, Chrysler and even Honda
and Toyota. There is absolutely no incentive for our members to approve a
contract that makes a number of sacrifices without improving job security and
returning our laid off members to the job."
Unlike General Motors and Chrysler, Ford has not requested emergency
government assistance, therefore there is no government requirement for the
union to reach a new cost-cutting agreement. However, CAW master bargaining
committee, with the full support of the shop floor leadership at Ford, decided
earlier this summer to enter into talks with Ford on condition that the
company's presence in Canada would be solidified in the long-run.
The union represents more than 7,000 workers at Ford facilities in
Oakville, Windsor, Brampton and St. Thomas. Any agreement would have to be
ratified by members.
The current collective agreement, reached in April 2008, extends until
September 2011 and includes no base wage increases.
For further information:
For further information: please contact CAW Communications, Shannon
Devine, (cell) (416) 302-1699 or John McClyment, (cell) (416) 315-3202