Canadian autoworkers approve Chrysler deal

Sept. 30, 2012 at 11:31 PM

TORONTO, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Canadian autoworkers have overwhelmingly approved a new contract with Chrysler, union leaders said Sunday.

The Canadian Auto Workers union said in a statement on its website the contract passed with 90 percent approval. Union members voted Saturday and Sunday in Windsor, Brampton and Etobicoke, Ontario.

The CAW previously reached similar contracts with General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co.

Chrysler's union workers will receive a $3,000 ratification bonus, and cost-of-living lump-sum payments of $2,000 in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The contract keeps pension benefits for current workers, and job commitments at all Chrysler plants.

CAW President Ken Lewenza said with contracts in place with the Big Three automakers, the union will push for a national auto policy for Canada.

"One of our objectives coming into these talks was to position our industry for future growth and success, and we did as much as we possibly could on that front," Lewenza said. "But without a comprehensive sector development strategy, the future of auto manufacturing in Canada remains uncertain, at best."

He said a national policy would set the stage for the industry's ongoing competitiveness and profitability while avoiding a race-to-the-bottom for working conditions.

Among other strategies, the CAW has proposed developing a transparent and consistent auto investment policy, building a green industry and establishing a buy-Canadian vehicle purchasing policy.

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