CAW reaches deal with Ford

TORONTO – The Canadian Auto Workers union says it has reached a tentative four-year deal with Ford, just hours before a midnight strike deadline.

CAW president Ken Lewenza says they will ask Chrysler and GM to accept the deal as a pattern settlement.

Existing contracts at the three big automakers expire at one minute before midnight tonight and the union has previously said it’s prepared to strike then if necessary.

The CAW had been focusing its energies on Ford over the past few days, suggesting Ford wasn’t dead set against lowering wages for new hires but allowing them to reach full pay over time.

Chrysler responded to the move by saying they were “very concerned” that Ford isn’t in the best position to lead negotiations because it has reduced its footprint in Canada in recent years.

Auto analyst Tony Faria says Ford has the least to lose from a contract that’s unfavourable to them, so reaching a deal with them first could be bad news for the other automakers.