(Bloomberg) – Chrysler Group LLC employees represented by the Canadian Auto Workers ratified a four-year contract that follows union agreements with Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. in reducing costs for new workers while maintaining current production levels in Canada.
The vote was 90% in favor, the Toronto-based union said Sunday in an e-mailed statement. The agreement covers about 8,000 production workers in Ontario, including vehicle- assembly plants in Brampton, near Toronto, and Windsor, outside of Detroit. The Auburn Hills, Mich.-based company builds its Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans in Windsor, the fourth- and fifth-best selling models in the company’s lineup last year.
“One of our objectives coming into these talks was to position our industry for future growth and success, and we did as much as we possibly could on that front,” union President Ken Lewenza said in a statement.
The ratification concludes this year’s labor talks between the U.S. automakers and the CAW. Negotiations began last month with the companies saying labor costs in Canada are too high and the union facing job cuts.
Chrysler reached an accord with the CAW on Wednesday, the last of the U.S. companies to obtain a Canadian labor settlement. The automaker, majority owned by Fiat SpA, followed the pattern set by Ford and GM. The contracts at the three companies exchange most cost-of-living raises for bonuses, extend the amount of time for a new employee to reach full pay, and shift new workers to a cheaper retirement plan.
The contracts for all three move half the pensions for new hires into a defined contribution plan where the payout at retirement depends on the pension fund’s performance. The other half will come from the union’s defined benefit plan that guarantees a certain amount at retirement and obliges the company to make up the shortfall if the fund underperforms.
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