CAW faces ‘most crucial’ round of negotiations

Outcome will impact auto companies’ choices about new investment, plant closure: Expert
By Danielle Harder
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 07/27/2012

The future of Canada’s auto sector, and 25,000 workers at plants across Ontario, hangs in the balance in the upcoming negotiations between the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union and the Detroit Three automakers this September, according to Gary Chaison, an industrial relations expert at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., who follows the auto industry.

“These are the big ones,” he says. “This round of bargaining is crucial. The automakers have gotten better by getting smaller, and I worry about the Canadian plants.”

There are a myriad of complicating factors in this round of negotiations, Chaison says. The economy is a big one. The United States is still struggling with its recovery, the European economy is in its most fragile post-war state ever and there are problems with trade in China.