This is from the Star.
The margin by which the agreements passed at Chrysler and GM is quite large. In spite of the fact that there are few benefits but much sacrifice as the earlier article posted notes the company may simply ask for more and jobs will continue disappearing anyway. The workers must agree with the union's policy of going along with the company for the most part but Ford workers were less enthusiastic with only 67% approval.
Clean sweep for historic auto deal TheStar.com - Canada - Clean sweep for historic auto deal
Chrysler workers follow in footsteps of Ford, GM in ratifying three-year deal that freezes wages
May 18, 2008 Brett PopplewellStaff Reporter
Canadian auto workers with Chrysler LLC yesterday followed their colleagues at General Motors and Ford and ratified a three-year contract that freezes wages, suspends cost-of-living allowances and reduces vacation pay.
Voting at locations across the GTA and in Windsor, more than 5,000 Chrysler employees voted 87 per cent in favour of the new contract.
"I think it was an overwhelming endorsement of the union strategy to go in early," said Buzz Hargrove, president of the Canadian Auto Workers union, who took his members into contract negotiations four months ahead of their current deal's expiry date.
CAW and Chrysler negotiators reached a deal Thursday, then turned it over to the 8,000 Chrysler employees for a vote.
Yesterday's ratification comes one day after GM auto workers ratified a similar three-year deal affecting about 13,000 employees.
The provisions in both agreements are similar to terms Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd. and the union negotiated earlier this month for about 9,000 workers.
The approval rate at Chrysler was the highest, with GM workers voting 84 per cent in favour, while 67 per cent of Ford workers backed the new contract.
Hargrove said the union pressed for early deals as worsening conditions in North America's struggling auto industry could have weakened members' bargaining positions in the summer.
The deal comes as rising fuel prices and a high Canadian dollar continue to batter the domestic auto manufacturing industry.
Despite these challenges, Ken Lewenza, chair of the CAW-Chrysler master bargaining committee said the biggest challenge to the Canadian automotive industry comes from the falling market share of the Big Three American auto makers and from the cheaper labour sources used in other countries.
"It's not about the worker, his or her benefits or wages; we cannot be expected to compete with Third World countries," he said.
As well as a wage freeze and suspension of a cost-of-living allowance until the end of 2009, new workers won't receive full wages for three years, instead of two.
However, in a statement released yesterday, the CAW said the three-year deal resisted two-tier wages, improved benefits and strengthened health and safety regulations.