The Canadian Auto Workers union warned its members on Wednesday to prepare for a strike against General Motors, Ford and Chrysler as little progress has been made at the bargaining table.
“We’re still hopeful that we can avoid a strike by reaching a new agreement with at least one of the companies. Collectively though, we must be ready for any outcome,” the CAW’s bargaining committees said in a leaflet obtained by the Detroit Free Press.
The CAW has been in talks with the Detroit Three since August, but little progress has been made on a new contract. The automakers are pushing for reduced pensions and the adoption of a new two-tier wage system while the union is seeking more manufacturing guarantees.
“All three companies appear to be fixated not merely on cost containment, but on deep concessions that would have a lasting and severe impact on our members,” the CAW said in today’s leaflet. “CAW committees at General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are working around the clock in an effort to fight concessionary demands and reach a fair agreement.”
The automakers contend that the CAW's current contract makes Canada one of the most expensive places to build cars.
The union and its 20,000 members could authorize a strike as soon as its current contract expires at 11:59pm on September 17.