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Chrysler reaches deal with CAW

by Bill Cawthon on

Chrysler and the Canadian Auto Workers have reached a tentative agreement on concessions that will allow the car company to avoid filing for bankruptcy. The new terms will save Chrysler about $240 million a year in exchange for guaranteeing to keep the Brampton and Windsor assembly plants open. Fiat SpA has also agreed to the terms.

If ratified by the rank-and-file, wages would remain about the same but workers would give up break time, bonuses, some supplemental pay and health benefits. Students working at the plants, who make significantly less than regular workers, would be allowed to work more hours. There will also be a new health care trust similar to the voluntary employee benefit association (VEBA) Chrysler has established with the United Auto Workers.

The Windsor plant will also lose its third shift. The Brampton plant lost its third shift earlier.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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