TORONTO - The Canadian Auto Workers is calling on the federal and Ontario provincial governments to help pay for massive Big 3 factory upgrades as a centerpiece of this year's bargaining strategy for a new contract.
The union, whose three-year national contract with the Big 3 expires Sept. 17, says job retention will be at the forefront of bargaining issues. It has specifically suggested government aid to build paint shops for the Chrysler group's large-van plant in Windsor, Ontario, and for the General Motors complex in Oshawa, Ontario.
Because such projects typically cost about $400 million (U.S.), automakers have been reluctant to fund them in the face of lagging profits and high industry overcapacity. Government aid could, therefore, head off further plant closings in Canada, the union argues.