TORONTO, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Union leaders for Canadian auto workers said Tuesday they made progress toward reaching a new contract with General Motors and Chrysler.
The day after reaching a tentative agreement with Ford, Canadian Auto Workers officials said negotiating subcommittees were making headway with the two remaining Big Three automakers. Ford settled Monday night, the Detroit Free Press reported.
"The conversations over the course of [Monday] evening and the conversations over the course of the day today have been very, very constructive in comparison to the last 3 1/2 weeks," CAW President Ken Lewenza told the newspaper.
The subcommittees deal with separate, local operating agreements for individual plants, along with health and safety, and productivity rules. The union's review committee handles most major wage and benefit issues, the Free Press said.
The CAW's agreement with Ford would provide more than 4,500 members three lump-sum payments of $2,000 during the life of the four-year agreement and a $3,000 signing bonus. There are no cost-of-living increases, however.
Ford would also add 600 jobs in the next four years.
The deal with Ford came just ahead of a strike deadline, and the union decided to hold off on a walkout against the other two while negotiations continue.
The New York Times reported Monday the union had turned down a two-tier wage system the automakers are using in the United States to lower labor costs for new hires without affecting established workers.
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