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Old 09-28-2002, 10:02   #1 (permalink)
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CAW chief sees progress in Ford talks

Reuters / September 27, 2002

TORONTO -- The Canadian Auto Workers union is close to reaching a new three-year agreement with Ford Canada, but the union said on Friday that failure to resolve the issue of saving jobs at the company's Oakville, Ontario, truck plant could still force a strike.

"I'm certainly a lot more confident after our last meeting (with Ford) last night and our early morning meeting than I was yesterday. I can't guarantee anything, but I think we're moving in the right direction," said Buzz Hargrove, head of the CAW.

Hargrove expects Ford, Canada's second-biggest automaker, to present its economic offer to the union on Monday, just one day before the union's midnight strike deadline on Oct. 1.

Ford is expected to match the terms of the three-year deal that General Motors of Canada signed with the union, which was ratified by CAW members last week.

That agreement included a 3 percent wage increase in the first two years and a 2 percent hike in the third year, a C$1,000 ($633.00) signing bonus, 36 hours in additional paid time off and improved health-care benefits.

The company also gave the union a firm guarantee of an C$800-million investment in Canadian plants over the life of the agreement.

Hargrove said he was almost certain that Ford would match the wage and benefit provisions of the pattern-setting GM agreement, but he also took a tough stand on the need for Ford to protect jobs at the Oakville Truck plant on the western outskirts of Toronto.

Ford plans to close the plant, possibly as early as next year.

"As part of an overall package, everything that we have on the table is a strike issue and sometime before midnight on Tuesday our bargaining committee will make a decision as to whether or not there are enough issues unresolved that would cause us to go on strike and the Oakville Truck Plant will be up there front and center," Hargrove said.

Hargrove said the two sides "made a major step forward" in the Oakville truck talks on Thursday, which he said gives him more confidence that an agreement can be reached. He refused to discuss what ground was covered.

"Ford is working extremely hard. I am impressed with their effort to try to find a solution that deals with one of the toughest issues with which we have ever had to deal with Ford Motor Co.," he said.

Ford has acknowledged that a strike in Canada would have a devastating effect on its operations across North America. Its Windsor, Ontario, engine plant, for example, builds a large proportion of the engines for assembly plants across the continent.

Hargrove again called on Canadian federal and provincial governments to reward auto companies that invest in Canada while punishing those that do not.

"We're trying to get the attention of the government and of the people of Canada about the significance of this industry to the Canadian economy," Hargrove said. "It's not just our members, it's not just their families and it's not to do with our bargaining. It's about the future of our country."
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Old 09-29-2002, 21:31   #2 (permalink)
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Ford gives union settlement offer Monday morning

Sunday September 29, 2002
TORONTO, Sept. 29 - Ford will present its settlement offer to the CAW at 10:00 a.m. Monday, September 30. Talks have continued throughout the weekend in advance of Ford's offer. "We have made progress at every local and sub-committee level and significant progress on the tough job situation at Oakville," CAW president Buzz Hargrove said, "and I am very optimistic that we've made enough progress that we will reach a deal in advance of the strike deadline." A press briefing will be held at 10:45 a.m. following the meeting with the company. The briefing will be held in the Elizabeth Suite of the Toronto Colony Hotel, 89 Chestnut Street.
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Old 09-30-2002, 15:56   #3 (permalink)
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NO STRIKE As Canada Auto Union Says YES To Ford Offer

TORONTO, Sept 30 Reuters reported that the Canadian Auto Workers union said on Monday it reached a tentative three-year contract agreement with Ford Motor Co. of Canada, beating the deadline of midnight on Tuesday for a strike that could have crippled the automaker's North American operations.

No details of the three-year agreement were immediately available, but it was expected to mirror closely a deal ratified by General Motors of Canada workers last week.

That three-year agreement gave them a three-percent wage increase in the first two years and a two-percent hike in the third year, a C$1,000 ($633.00) signing bonus, 36 hours in additional paid time off and improved healthcare benefits.

The union will now vote to ratify the Ford agreement, then turn its sights on DaimlerChrysler Canada, with an eye to wrapping up negotiations by mid-October.
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