Canadian plants seen as loosers in GM?UAW deal
The contract negotiated between GM and the UAW is going to hurt the Canadian auto workers who assemble vehicles and make parts for the Detroit automakers in Ontario and other locations in Canada. The new deal means that the Canadian auto worker will be getting paid more – at least until their contract expires next year – than the Detroit auto worker. Many observers fear that the automakers will close plants in Canada, now that the Canadians have lost their cost advantage.
Currently, Canadian auto workers are paid about $70 per hour. Though the Canadian dollar was, at one time, worth less than the United States dollar, that’s changed and the two currencies are now equal in value. That means the Canadian auto worker is paid about $15 per hour more than will an American auto worker under the new contract. Japanese nameplate manufacturers in the U.S. are paying about $48 per hour.
In a separate development, it has been reported that the UAW wants the Detroit automakers to combine with it to push Congress for adoption of a federal universal health care system, akin to the Canadian health care system. Both the UAW and the Detroit three have long urged universal health care because it would shift enormous amounts of money from them to the taxpayers. The lavish health care benefits enjoyed by American auto workers have been a major part of the reason that pay for UAW members has so vastly exceeded the level of pay and benefits to non-union autoworkers. It is also believed that the union and GM included a clause in their contract that refunds money to GM from the VEBA should universal health care be adopted.
Source: The GlobeAnd Mail