• Mar 8th 2009 at 5:33PM
  • 32
Reuters reports that the Canadian Auto Workers leadership and General Motors Canada have agreed on a set of union concessions that, if approved by CAW members, could clear the way for both the Canadian federal and Ontario local governments to furnish the cash-starved automaker with billions more in bailout dollars. According to Reuters, the union has agreed to swallow a wage freeze through 2012, reduced vacation time, and higher co-pays on their benefits plans. These changes would come on top of proposed pay reductions for both executives and regular salaried workers, plus benefits cuts for the latter.

GM hopes that the combined white-and blue-collar savings will be enough to convince Canadian officials to open up the coffers. For its part, the CAW says it'll use the GM negotiations as a model for how it'll deal with the other automakers seeking similar concessions. The Canadian developments come after a week in which the big story was GM's auditors' gloomy outlook on the company's ability to contintinue as a going concern. Stay tuned for another active news cycle this week as President Obama's auto industry task force heads to Detroit for powwows with automaker and union leaders. Everyone is in scramble mode right now because both GM and Chrysler need more money by the end of this month in order to keep the lights on. Thanks to Jarrett for the tip!

[Source: Reuters]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Okay .. I'm thinking .. what does the Union know that apparently no one else is privy too?

      I expected enormous wage lowering and huge reduction in pension -- the rest of use are experiencing.

      The Union must think GM of the past is survivable. Maybe we all have it wrong.
      • 6 Years Ago
      No! No! No! No!

      These fools have been making absolute garbage for 40 years. Their line worker are so ridiculously overpaid, that it's a joke. $40-$80/hr. for high school drop-outs.

      PLEASE let GM go out of business. It will certainly incent the other car companies to smarten up and make cars that can compete with imports on a qualitative and price basis.

      I live in Toronto and although it will hurt our local economy, I feel that GM's demise would be the best thing for the industry in the long run.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Mike, Roberta is another snob who thinks she's better than the GM employees because she works in a clean environment. She wouldn't last one hour in an assembly plant.

        Hey Roberta, there's a common phrase in the auto industry, both the Big Three's plants and the transplants, for someone who can't handle the work in a factory - it's called "not suited for industrial employment". Try know what you're talking about before you shoot your mouth off. I have family in Etobicoke, all working white collar, professional jobs, whose parents retired from GM of Canada and Chrysler of Canada, and they'll be happy to give you an education in what "industrial employment" is all about.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Roberta if you don't know what you're talking about don't make up lies. The average line worker at GM in Canada makes $27.50/hr not $40-$80/hr. The starting wage is less than $18.00/hr. I don't think that the work force is comprised of high school drop-outs, but I'm sure you have proof of that as well.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I wish Obama will help the UAW to unionize Tesla electric car company, roflcopters.
      • 6 Years Ago
      As is the way with these things, if we give them bailout money, they'll declare C11 the next day.
      • 6 Years Ago
      As a Canadian I say. Our over regulating, left leaning government that believes in socialized medicine now allows us to make a decision if we want to bail out an industry that's important to us. Our banks all truned in a profit last quarter and not one of them is looking for any gov't support.

      Rumor is 2 to 3 trillion before you get those banks on line again. Not much room to help out the blue collar guys.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Mike, I'm a little confused by your comment. You complain about "our over regulating, left leaning government" and then you go on to say how Canadian banks all turned a profit last quarter. Well, as a fellow Canadian, I'm glad our banks are better regulated which prevented them from suffering the same financial disaster that has affected banks in the rest of the world. As for Prime Minister Harper and his conservatives, I would hardly call them left leaning.
        • 6 Years Ago
        MIke, thanks for clarifying...I must have read your original comment 6 times and I still wasn't sure if you were being satirical/sarcastic or not but now I know.
        • 6 Years Ago
        To golly. I meant it in a satirical way. I too am happy that our government didn't let our banks consolidate and deregulate in the 90's or we might be in the same mess as our friends to the south.
      • 6 Years Ago
      As much as I like GM cars, its really sad and pathetic to see them like this.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "...the union has agreed to swallow a wage freeze through 2012, reduced vacation time, and higher co-pays on their benefits plans.

      Wow wage freezes. Considering that they would be wiped out if left up to the free market couldn't a 5% wage cut be had? how about even a 1% cut?

      "Reduced vacation time" Bora bora will take a hit. get ready some stimulus.
        • 6 Years Ago
        With inflation eventually going to skyrocket, that is a 5% wage cut.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What GM needs to do is to kill everything BUT Chevy, Caddy and Hummer.

      Look no one needs a Pontiac, Saturn or Buick.

      Any good car that can be sold as a Pontiac can be sold as a Chevy, G8 will simply have a bowie rather than an upside down triangle. Same with Saturn, any good car by Saturn can be sold as a Chevy, like Outlook. GM has too many brands and as i said any car worth its salt needs can be sold as a Chevy. GM spend so much money on giving Saturn fresh lineup, but all that money came at Chevy's expense, they could have spent all that money on quality small car and that investment would have paid off.

      Enter the bankruptcy and get rid off debt, unions and dealers.

      Many in here who say that killing brands is not the way to go simply suffer from nostalgia, they miss names like Firebird and GTO, those are NOTHING but names. It's like saying ohh i will not buy another Intel product because they did off with Pentium name. A name is just a name. Kill the garbage, concentrate on what is salvageble. Plus killing off Pontiac will allow GM to use money that would have gone Pontiac R&D and to increase Chevy's R&D.

      Buick is just a dead brand in USA, Buick can not and will NEVER,EVER be able to compete with Lexus, Acura, Infinity, BMW, BENZ.

      Kill off the garbage and keep what matters

      Also GM needs to start selling to people with higher credit rating.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Buick still sells very well in China. Latest Buicks were mostly designed in GM's China studios.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Buick is not a dead brand in the USA, and it is a powerhouse of a brand in China.

        Why the frak would they keep Hummer? What alternate universe sales reports are you reading that makes it look like a viable brand?
      • 6 Years Ago
      As a laid off CAW worker I just wanted to throw in my 2-cents...

      To correct Roberta we are not all High School drop outs, I do have a University Degree and I am now in College upgrading my education while on Lay-off... which thanks to my union I was able to get my tuition paid for through a joint effort by Chrysler and the Ontario Government ... In a non-unionized workplace I would have had to sell my house at a loss and move my wife and newborn to a rental, in order to afford re-training....

      There is a large immigrant population who work for the the big 3 in Ontario, many of these people are highly educated as well but they received their educations in their homeland and thus are unrecognized in this country... ( I worked beside a doctor from China for 3 yrs, and a Mechanical engineer from India worked 2 stations over from me as well.)

      We do make a very good wage, $33/hr plus we do have a very good benefits package, but for people to suggest that this is the reason that the auto companies are losing money is stupid as employee wages account for 7% of the cost of building a car... To compare this to another factory job, my mother works for Nestle Chocolate and makes around $25 per hour, I had the opportunity to work there part-time during summer holidays while I was in school and working there was much easier physically than @ Chrysler.

      The crises we are in has to do with our industries being shipped over seas and leaving our countries in the name of corporate profit... People no longer SAVE $$$ to buy stuff they buy it on credit, the wealth of North Americans is a false one, as most people do not own their house, cars etc... People need to look up Peter Schiff on YouTube and he sums up the cause for all our financial trouble...

      sorry for the long post...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hi Alex,

        Thanks for the civilized response!

        You said that "The crises we are in has to do with our industries being shipped over seas and leaving our countries in the name of corporate profit... People no longer SAVE $$$ to buy stuff they buy it on credit, the wealth of North Americans is a false one, as most people do not own their house, cars etc.."

        The North American auto industry is not being shipped overseas. The overseas auto market is crushing the N.A. one as a result of their consistently manufacturing superior autos. If N.A. vehicles were as good as foreign ones, I wouldn't hesitate for a second to buy one. However, I've owned 3 domestic ones and they were all dramatically worse than the foreign ones that I've bought since then. Why would I risk buying another?

        Secondly, your comment about people not saving to buy stuff anymore does not directly affect the auto industry. If you go to your bank and finance the purchase of a car, the car company gets its money in full immediately. If you subsequently default on your payments, this has no affect on the manufacturers - it's the bank that will pursue you for payment. This extends to the current housing crisis as well. Builders have gotten their money - it's the banks that are in trouble.

        Nice chatting.

      • 6 Years Ago
      February was the first month in Canadian automotive history that GM wasn't in the top spot in sales. Not only that, but both Chrysler and Ford sold more cars than GM. Bring on bankruptcy because the public sure has.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Canada deals with a small sample of car problems. In the USA the factories a restrewn around like so many fall leaves. the Canadian are lasering in on certain factories and certain models. So, sure, it is easy (ier) to make some headway.
      for the USA, there couldbe a tax credit of $5000 to $7500 to buy a USA car. (yes even Canada ones). That the invetories would drop and the shifts would go back to 3 a day or 2 a day-whatever. The cars would move and the spirit of the USA would be back. The cost to the Feds would be more than made up by people working and making dough.
      Also roll back all the CAFE et al rules to '93 or so. That was when Clinton was first President and all the donks think he is great. This way
      the car cos can build what sells and the safety and economy is OK,yet better than 1980.
      And maybe GM will have to send Buick to the Chinese, Pontiac to the French, and concentrate on Chev, Cadillac, and trucks.Which is what the Canadians are doing, to wit, certain models get the money bec they are made there.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Chrysler was the top seller in Canada last month. Beat out everyone. Even Toyota. I'd say that's pretty impressive considering how much bad stuff people say about their vehicles.
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