The dispute over policies affecting members of the Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) could come to a close tonight, but a strike across Ford, Chrysler and General Motors’ Canadian operations is possible.
Collectively, the group represents 16 percent of North America’s auto production or more than 20,000 workers. If the strike happens, it would halt production on a list of vehicles including a key Cadillac launch. The dispute hinges on how automakers are pushing to hire new workers who will take lower wages.
Ford seems the most likely to reach an agreement before the deadline because it has been the most receptive to slowing those hiring rates. Meanwhile, GM and Chrysler continue to insist on a two-tier wage structure similar to what the UAW adopted.
“Should we not reach a tentative agreement before today’s deadline of September 17, 2012 at 11:59 p.m., we could have a work stoppage at any one or even all three of the companies. We are optimistic though that with this latest development a strike can be avoided.”
If talks fail, it would likely mean a strike that would deal a heavy blow to domestic auto production. For the time being, workers are cautioned to continue their jobs with union leaders warning that a failure to do so would seriously hamper their bargaining ability.
[Source: Detroit Free Press]
Photo courtesy of the Canadian Press