Ford announces cost-saving changes to CAW contract

    
    Employees support deal that delivers new products to Canadian plants

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    -  Competitive improvements to the national collective agreement with the
       CAW have been ratified by Ford employees. The contract modifications
       extend the agreement by one year to Sept. 17, 2012
    -  The agreement, which covers 7,000 employees in Canada, includes plans
       to produce a product based on a new global platform at the Oakville
       Assembly Complex and additional investment for the Essex Engine Plant
       in Windsor
    -  Major cost-saving measures in the agreement include; no base wage
       increase, eliminating the $1,700 annual "vacation bonus", a 40-hour
       reduction in paid time off, and the establishment of contributions to
       the pension plan for new employees
    -  Production at the St. Thomas Assembly Plant, near London, Ontario is
       scheduled to end in 2011 due to production overcapacity and declining
       market demand for large cars

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OAKVILLE, ON, Nov. 1 /CNW/ - Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited and the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) have agreed to changes to the national collective agreement that will improve the competitive position of Ford's Canadian operations and attract new products to two Ontario plants.

"Ford continues to make progress on its transformation plan and our efforts to be competitive when it comes to labour costs are key to continuing to build a healthy, sustainable business in Canada for all our employees," said Stacey Allerton Firth, vice president of human resources, Ford of Canada.

"It is a credit to the relationship we have with the CAW that we were able to reach a responsible agreement in such turbulent economic times. Both the union and the company realized that we had to work collaboratively to meet the competitive challenges facing the industry," she added.

The agreement also confirms the end of production at the St. Thomas Assembly Plant (STAP) in 2011. In 2008, the plant was notified that production of its current vehicles, the Ford Crown Victoria, Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car, was slated to end in 2011 and that no new product had been identified for the plant.

This latest agreement includes measures to help support employees and their families affected by the plant closure, including: a $30,000 vehicle voucher or $25,000 cash payment; extended health care benefits for six months for non-retirement eligible employees who choose to separate from the company and extended educational tuition assistance benefits that other locations no longer receive. The company has also agreed to canvass other Ford locations and offer buyouts to create as many jobs as possible for STAP employees.

"St. Thomas employees have proudly built high quality vehicles for many years and we thank them for their hard work and commitment. The unfortunate reality of today's global auto industry is that there is too much production capacity and we cannot afford to operate as many plants as we used to. Demand for large cars like the Crown Victoria, Grand Marquis and Town Car has also dropped significantly," Allerton Firth said. "We will do our best to support our employees through this difficult time."

    
    Other major items in the agreement include:

    -  Plans to produce a product based on a new global platform at the
       Oakville Assembly Complex and additional investment for the Essex
       Engine Plant in Windsor

    -  No increase in base wage rates during the term of the agreement

    -  Newly-hired employees will be required to contribute $1 per hour
       worked into their pension plans

    -  The $1,700 "special payment" often referred to as the annual vacation
       bonus is eliminated

    -  A 40-hour reduction in paid time off will be implemented

    -  New employees will receive 70 per cent of the base wage rate when they
       start work. Their wages will increase to 100 per cent of the base wage
       rate over a six-year period
    

Also, the term of the collective agreement has been extended by one year to Sept. 17, 2012.

SOURCE Ford of Canada

For further information: For further information: Lauren More, (905) 845-2511 x1161, Mobile: (416) 543-3673, lmore@ford.com

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