The latest update in the ongoing labor talks between the Canadian Auto Workers union and the Detroit Three automakers involves the union willing to settle on a two-tier wage system similar to that already in place in United States facilities.
For GM, that means the Oshawa, Ontario assembly plant will be more sustainable, as it produces a myriad of vehicles including the Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain, Cadillac XTS, Chevrolet Camaro and old Impala (for fleets). The compromise should also secure several thousand jobs for years to come. And along with the lower starting wage, the new proposal will add four years to the time it takes a new worker to reach the union’s full hourly pay rate.
For reference, a new UAW line worker laboring for the Detroit 3 starts at around an average of $15.78 per hour but tops out at $19.28 per hour under the tier 2 wage. Tier 1 UAW production workers hired before 2007 currently earn an average hourly wage of $28.
The new contract hasn’t been made official yet, as it’s still being reviewed.
Update 1: The following is a statement from Dino Chiodo, chairman of the union’s master bargaining committee for Chrysler and the President of Local 444 in Windsor:
“The company needs to recognize and realize that we are not taking concessions and we will not be going backwards in this round of bargaining…There is no two-tier structure that we’re interested in entertaining whatsoever at this point. It’s just something that’s against our principles.”