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Deal averted Canadian strike

by Bill Cawthon on

FCA and Unifor, the Canadian autoworkers union, reached a tentative agreement literally in the eleventh hour, barely avoiding a strike scheduled for midnight.


According to Unifor president Jerry Diaz, the deal matches the GM contract on wages, bonuses and paths for new hires. It also secures a commitment to a totally overhauled paint shop for the Brampton Assembly Plant and C$6.5 million in upgrades for the Etobicoke Casting Plant.

Diaz had praise for FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne. During a Saturday meeting between Marchionne and the Unifor bargaining leaders, Diaz noted that it was Marchionne who green-lighted the investments.

The agreement now goes to the rank-and-file members of the union. If the contract is ratified, Unifor will set its sights on Ford.

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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