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Ford - CAW may have a deal


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Check it out, Ford and the CAW may have a deal!


Ford, CAW close to tentative deal
GREG KEENAN, Globe and Mail Update

Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd. and the Canadian Auto Workers have reached a tentative agreement, though some issues remain to be resolved at the local level, union president Buzz Hargrove said Monday.

Mr. Hargrove said that the union had won some new investments at some of Ford's Ontario plants. He said more details would be made available later Monday.

Yesterday, Mr. Hargrove said that Ford would slash a significant number of jobs at its plants in Ontario during the next three years as part of a restructuring of its North American operations.

"This is a major restructuring," Mr. Hargrove said yesterday of an announcement the auto maker is expected to deliver in several weeks, which will include permanent shutdowns of assembly plants, engine plants and parts operations in both Canada and the United States.

"There's no way we can come through this without some job losses," he said as the union and the company moved closer to a deal on a three-year labour agreement.

He refused to provide details on the number of Ford Canada employees who will be affected, but said there are "restructuring issues" at all the company's locations in Ontario.

The company employs about 11,600 CAW members and has another 1,000 salaried workers at its head office in Oakville, Ont., and other locations throughout the province.

Those include two engine plants and a casting plant in Windsor, Ont., a minivan assembly plant in Oakville and a facility in St. Thomas, Ont., that assembles full-sized cars.

The Canadian operations most in danger are the Essex engine plant in Windsor and the factory in St. Thomas.

Ford will probably close assembly plants in St. Louis, Mo., St. Paul, Minn., and Wixom, Mich., industry analysts said last week.

If the auto maker cuts its work force to less than 10,000 people in Ontario, the provincial and federal governments can claw back some of the combined $200-million in financial incentives they gave for the project.

Ford submitted its first offer on wages, pensions and benefits to the union last night, but Mr. Hargrove offered no details on that either, other than to describe it as moderate.

"This is not the richest settlement we've ever negotiated as a union." Edited by Cremazie
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