If you want an idea about how things might go in the 2007 UAW contract negotiations, look no further than just across the border where Canadian Auto Workers have opened talks with General Motors. GM states that it can't afford to give any concessions after losing $1.1B last quarter and that Canadian labor costs have increased 5.7% annually under the current contract, while the CAW says that GM's Canadian operations actually netted a significant profit and therefore the union wants wage increases and more vacation time. Canada's national health-care system makes that part of the debate a bit different that what we'll see here in the states, but expect much of the attitude and posturing by each side to carry over into the UAW's contract negotiations. The CAW will talk with Ford and DaimlerChrysler next week, and pick one of the three later this year to negotiate a "target contract" that's expected to be signed by all parties involved.
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