GM freezes wages in Canada till 2012March 9th, 2009 - 10:36 am ICT by IANS
By Gurmukh Singh
Toronto, March 9 (IANS) To cut costs, auto giant General Motors (GM) Sunday froze wages and pensions for its Canadian workers until 2012. The struggling company, which will get $3 billion out of the $4-billion package announced by the Canadian government, said it had reached an agreement with the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union to avail of government money. The Canadian government had made it mandatory for GM to cut costs and wages to be eligible for the package.
The Canadian plants of the three auto giants - GM, Ford and Chrysler -account for about 20 percent of their total production in North America. The Canadian package for the ailing auto companies is proportion to the American package.
In a statement, GM Canada said it has reached a tentative agreement with the union to bring labour costs “to much more competitive levels” for its long- term viability.
GM, which employs about 12,000 Canadians, said the agreement is “a positive further step in GM Canada’s restructuring plan” as wanted by the government.
For its part, the Canadian workers union said the deal will generate substantial cost savings for the company.
“Our objective coming into these negotiations was to minimize the pain felt by our members and their families, while ensuring that General Motors was well positioned to receive government assistance to remain viable,” union president Ken Lewenza said.
“At the same time, we understand that workers didn’t cause this crisis, which was caused by the global financial meltdown and ensuing credit freeze,” he said.
The agreement will be put to vote by workers next week for ratification. He said the agreement hinges on GM receiving government aid and recommitting to a proportional Canadian manufacturing presence.
“We committed that the CAW would be part of the solution to this crisis, and we have done just that.” The union president said. “But we fully understand that the industry will not be secure until governments (US and Canadian) confirm a financial assistance package for the industry, and until consumers start buying vehicles again,” he added.
- Now IBM axing jobs in Canada - Mar 27, 2009
- Chrysler cuts 1,200 more jobs at its main Canadian plant - Mar 05, 2009
- Canada unveils $3.5-billion bailout for auto industry - Dec 13, 2008
- Canada's $4 bn aid package 'good news' for auto industry - Dec 21, 2008
- Chrysler repays $7.6 bn to US, Canada - May 25, 2011
- Chrysler gives ultimatum, threatens to pull out of Canada - Mar 12, 2009
- Chrysler repays $5.1 billion in TARP loans - May 25, 2011
- Canadian markets up 13 percent as rally continues - Mar 18, 2009
- GM files for bankruptcy, to eleminate over 30,000 jobs (Second Lead) - Jun 01, 2009
- General Motors files for bankruptcy (Lead) - Jun 01, 2009
- GM announces new cost cuts, axes Pontiac for survival - Apr 27, 2009
- Canada gets 12 percent stake in 'bankrupt' GM - Jun 02, 2009
- U.S. auto industry recovers dramatically in one year - Apr 22, 2010
- GM, Chrysler vehicle buyers get government warranty in Canada - Apr 08, 2009
- Chrysler sales jump - Mar 02, 2012
Tags: auto companies, canadian auto workers, canadian government, canadian plants, financial meltdown, general motors, gm canada, gm ford, government aid, government assistance, government money, labour costs, ratification, tentative agreement, term viability, toronto march, union president, wages and pensions, wages in canada, workers union