TORONTO (Reuters) -- The Canadian Auto Workers said today it is facing "unprecedented demands" in contract talks with the Detroit 3 automakers and, with one week until its agreements with them expire, has no intention of making deep cuts.
The union has warned that it could strike Chrysler Group, Ford Motor Co., and General Motors Co. simultaneously if it cannot reach a new contract deal with at least one of them before all of the contracts expire at 11:59 p.m. eastern on Sept. 17.
The union says the companies are demanding that both current and future workers move to a defined contribution pension plan from a defined benefit plan and are also demanding the elimination of a clause allowing workers with 30 years' experience to retire with a full pension.
As well, the automakers want to create a two-tier work force, the CAW said, mirroring a concession they preserved in contracts with the UAW in the United States last year. The companies are also seeking the permanent elimination of cost-of-living adjustments and further reduction in benefits, such as prescription drug access, the union said.