CAW to Open Exploratory Talks with General Motors

March 5, 2009, 1:49 PM EST

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CAW to Open Exploratory Talks with General Motors

CAW President Ken Lewenza announced March 5 that the union has opened exploratory talks with General Motors in an effort to assist the beleaguered automaker through its restructuring program.

Lewenza made the announcement at a press conference in Toronto, Ontario, indicating that negotiations aim to ensure Canada maintains its industrial footprint for auto production in North America.

"We will approach these exploratory talks with the intent of reaching consensus with General Motors on how to address the needs of the company in its Canadian operations," Lewenza said. "At the same time, our negotiating position will start with the understanding that Canada already has a labour cost and productivity advantage over other automakers in the U.S. and Japan."

Talks with General Motors began on March 5 and will be followed with negotiations at Ford and Chrysler, although the union has not yet determined which of the two will be the next in line.

The federal and Ontario governments have established a deadline for the automakers to issue their complete restructuring plans by March 31.   

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