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Canadian Auto Workers OK strike (August 26, 2002)

TORONTO, Ont. -- The 46,400 Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) members toiling for General Motors, Ford and DaimlerC...


TORONTO, Ont. — The 46,400 Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) members toiling for General Motors, Ford and DaimlerChrysler have voted overwhelmingly to strike, if needed, to win a new contract.

Under the specter of a September deadline, workers at DaimlerChrysler and GM voted 97 per cent in favor of a strike, while Ford’s workers chimed in at 95 per cent. The CAW is seeking pay increases and limits to overtime to spread work around to more employees.

Unions often use the authorization votes as a part of the negotiating process, and the move doesn’t necessarily mean the workers intend to strike. It is worth noting the number of CAW workers at the three companies has fallen to current levels since 49,400 in 1999. The CAW has a total of 260,000 members.

CAW President Buzz Hargrove will name a target company after Labor Day, with a bargaining deadline of Sept. 17, the union adds. The union will try to negotiate an agreement with the target company and this will then be used as the blueprint for the other two automakers.

The three largest U.S.-based automakers began talks with the Canadian union last month.


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