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Ford Motor Company and the leadership of the Canadian Auto Workers union have reached a tentative agreement after a marathon four-day wrap-up to negotiations. Union membership needs to approve the deal, which will guarantee a Great White North presence for Ford until at least 2012. Voting is underway this weekend, and if approved, the CAW will be responsible for building 10 percent of Ford's North American production, down from the current 13 percent, which the union had been trying to hold on t

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it wasn't long ago that U.S. automakers were producing a high percentage of their new products in Canada because labor costs were lower up north than are here in the States. The cost paradigm changed considerably after GM and Chrysler went into Chapter 11 reorganization, as the ailing automakers secured better labor deals with both U.S. and Canadian unions, making the UAW and CAW more competitive versus Japanese automakers.

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