The Canadian Auto Workers union said Monday it had reached a tentative deal with Ford.
CAW President Ken Lewenza said Monday they want Ford's four-year deal to serve as a template for GM and Chrysler as a midnight strike deadline looms with those Detroit automakers.
The union earlier told its members it was optimistic strikes can be averted after CAW decided to focus on talks with Ford who they say recognizes that the union won't accept a permanent two-tier wage structure. Ford emerged as most likely to reach an agreement ahead of a strike deadline looming Monday night.
CAW and senior executives from Ford, General Motors and Chrysler are in Toronto for talks.
The CAW represents about 4,500 workers at Ford, 8,000 workers at GM and another 8,000 at Chrysler.
The CAW's contracts with Ford Motor Co., Chrysler and General Motors Co. all expire at 11:59 p.m. Monday.
The auto companies say Canada is now the most expensive place in the world to make cars and trucks, and they say they could move production south if the CAW doesn't cut costs.
But the union is resisting demands for concessions, which they say include wage cuts for new hires, the elimination of cost-of-living adjustments and dramatic changes to pension plans.
Canada's advantages in the past, a weaker Canadian dollar and government health care, have all but vanished.
In addition, the United Auto Workers union in the U.S. has agreed to steeper concessions than the CAW, making U.S. labor costs cheaper.