Canadian Auto Workers

The Detroit Big Three are seeking "dramatic changes" in their contracts with the Canadian Auto Workers. According to a Reuters report, the CAW claims that the U.S. automakers are angling for deep pension and benefit cuts. The CAW says it has no intention of adhering to these proposed cuts.

According to the report, the CAW is staring down "unprecedented demands" from Ford, General Motors and Chrysler, as the current agreement between the parties is set to expire in one week.

One of the main points of contention surrounds a clause in the current deal, which expires September 17 at 11:59 p.m. EST. That clause would allow any worker with 30 years of experience to retire on full pension. The automakers are seeking to dissolve this clause.

The report also states that American automakers are refusing to commit to any new production investments in Canada. The CAW is demanding that the Big Three make such a commitment for the deal to go through.

According to a separate Detroit Free Press report, CAW President Ken Lewenza asserted that he plans to resist these wage and benefit concessions in the contract talks at this stage.

Other concessions being demanded by the Big Three include the creation of a second-tier workforce for newer employees. This would mirror the agreement set up with the UAW in America. The automakers are also asking that any new bonuses or pensions come from cuts made in other areas. At this time, all three American automakers declined to comment on these concessions, through Sergio Marchionne said last week that he would consider moving production to other plants if the CAW would not concede to its proposals.