The Canadian Auto Workers union (CAW) has made “absolutely no progress” in talks with DaimlerChrysler ’s Canadian Chrysler operation, union president Buzz Hargrove said, according to a Detroit News and Bloomberg News report carried by the Michigan newspaper.
The report cited Hargrove as saying that Chrysler is refusing to build a new product in the Pillette Road plant in Windsor, Ontario, where production of Dodge Ram vans is scheduled to end next July.
Hargrove promised a strike by 12,800 Chrysler workers if the company doesn’t agree on a new vehicle to save 1,340 jobs at the factory, the report said.
“My gut feeling is we have a problem. They know the road they’re on leads to a strike,” Hargrove said, according to the report, which added that union and company negotiators plan to meet tomorrow to decide if talks are at breaking point.
The CAW has given Chrysler a strike deadline of 11.59pm Tuesday but the early signs are that the talks are proceeding less smoothly than those with General Motors and Ford which resulted in pay hikes, more paid holidays and, in the Ford case, some concessions over a planned plant closure.
A Chrysler spokeswoman told Detroit News/Bloomberg News reporters that extending Pillette Road production past July made no business sense and that no replacement product was planned but added a solution to the issue could possibly be negotiated with the union.
In its own recent negotiations with the CAW, Ford agreed to transfer some workers affected by a planned plant closure in 2004 to other factories with the rest of the affected workers leaving through attrition or early retirement.