Canadian auto union reaches deal with Chrysler

CAW, Chrysler agreement must still be ratified by workers

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TORONTO - The Canadian Auto Workers union says it has reached a tentative agreement with Chrysler on a labor contract.

CAW President Ken Lewenza confirmed a settlement Wednesday night but did immediately release details. The union wanted Chrysler to match the agreements it reached with Ford and GM this month.

The agreement must still be ratified by the workers.

The deals avoided strikes and the possibility the Detroit automakers would move future production south.

The Ford and GM contracts cut wages for new hires and freeze pay for current workers. But the contracts also give them lump-sum payments to cover inflation and for ratifying the deal.

The companies had said Canada was the most expensive place in the world to make cars and trucks. The CAW represents about 21,000 auto workers in Canada and about 16 percent of auto production in North America.

"I would like to extend Chrysler Canada's appreciation to the CAW leadership team for allowing us to continue the dialogue as we worked on important aspects of the collective bargaining agreement," said Todd Bested, head of labour relations at Chrysler Canada Inc.

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