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Old 05-15-2008, 05:44 PM   #1

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Drives: 2019 Louis Chevrolet Camaro
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GM will introduce new model based on Camaro

Firebird fans are sure excited about this - time will tell what they build based on the new Camaro.


GM, Chrysler Reach Tentative Accord With Canada Union

May 15 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC reached tentative labor agreements with the Canadian Auto Workers today, paving the way to secure contracts at all three U.S.-based automakers four months before the accords expire.

The announcements were made in separate press conferences today in Toronto.

Completed deals would follow approval of a new agreement earlier this month at Ford Motor Co., capping U.S. and Canadian bargaining and helping the automakers pare costs to compete with Asia-based rivals. GM, Chrysler and the CAW negotiated past a deadline yesterday to resolve differences.

The agreement ``provides both the company and the members with the foundation for improving GM's competitive position,'' Cheryl Ollila, GM's head of labor relations in the negotiations, said at the briefing.

The GM accord, which has the support of the CAW's master and local bargaining committees, will ``stem the tide of job losses'' at GM in Canada, though it's unlikely to create new jobs, CAW President Buzz Hargrove told reporters.

With a slowing U.S. economy, ``we could only see a downside to delaying our bargaining, and that's why we did what we did,'' Hargrove said.

`Tactical Victory'

Three days ago, Hargrove set a deadline of 6 p.m. yesterday for talks with Detroit-based GM. The union threatened to suspend talks until September if no deal was imminent after the automaker said it would close a Windsor, Ontario, transmission plant in 2010. GM, Chrysler and the CAW began talks earlier this month.

``It's a tactical victory'' for the CAW, said Gary Chaison, a labor-relations professor at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. ``Now we go into the second stage and that's selling the agreement to the membership.''

GM workers vote on the proposal tomorrow and Chrysler workers will vote on May 17. While Hargrove declined to speculate on the outcome, he said the master and local bargaining committees were unanimous in endorsing both the GM and Chrysler agreements. The Ford agreement was approved by a 67 percent majority of its workers.

Hargrove described the severance agreement with GM for more than 1,300 workers affected by the closure of the Windsor plant as ``groundbreaking.'' It includes buyouts worth as much as C$125,000 ($124,600) and pro-rated early retirement packages.

Any auto-labor agreement will have to deal with job losses, Clark University's Chaison said. ``It's reality-based bargaining,'' he said.

The CAW's main goal in this year's talks was to avoid a ``two-tier'' system in which new hires don't reach the same pay as current workers, a provision the union said it got in an accord ratified by Ford Motor Co. workers on May 4. The Detroit- based United Auto Workers accepted a two-tier system in contracts negotiated with GM, Ford and closely held Chrysler last year.

GM and Auburn Hills, Michigan-based Chrysler agreed to the basic terms in the Ford contract and also excluded a two-tier system, Hargrove said.

Firm Commitment

GM will keep two truck shifts operating at the Oshawa, Ontario, plant that makes the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado pick-ups as the carmaker prepares to begin production of hybrid versions of those vehicles later this year, Hargrove said. GM will also introduce a new model based on the Chevrolet Camaro some time over the life of the contract, he said.

Hargrove, 64, wrapped up this year's talks months ahead of the mid-September expiration of current contracts with the three automakers. The CAW leader is in his last term as union president.

``These are tough times,'' he said. ``I can't imagine how tough the negotiations will be in 2011,'' when the union will try to hammer out new contracts with the three automakers.


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General Motors ASEP, A.S. Automotive Technology, Telecommunications Specialist, CISCO Certified Network Engineer

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