Sep 17, 2012

By Bob Komsic

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The Canadian Auto Workers union has reached a tentative four-year deal with Ford, just hours before a midnight strike deadline.

CAW president Ken Lewenza says Chrysler and GM will be asked to accept the deal as a pattern settlement.

The CAW had been focusing its energies on Ford over the past few days, suggesting Ford wasn’t dead set against lowering wages for new hires but allowing them to reach full pay over time.

Chrysler responded by saying it’s ”very concerned” that Ford isn’t in the best position to lead negotiations because it has reduced its footprint in Canada in recent years.

One auto analyst says Ford has the least to lose from a contract that’s unfavourable to them, so reaching a deal with them first could be bad news for the other automakers.

Existing contracts at the three big automakers expire at one minute before midnight and the union has previously said it’s prepared to strike then if necessary.

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