TORONTO — The Canadian Auto Workers union says it wants the big U.S. automakers to invest in their Canadian facilities as a means of boosting job security as the two sides gear up for bargaining that’s slated to begin this week.
Union president Ken Lewenza says boosting the technology at the automakers’ facilities would increase productivity, improve profits and make workers’ jobs more secure.
The union says it’s hoping to avoid a strike, which would halt the momentum that the auto companies have seen lately as they have worked to recover from the recession.
Lewenza says the union made a number of sacrifices, including to vacation time and cost-of-living payments, to help the struggling automakers in 2008 and 2009.
While the union doesn’t expect to regain all of those sacrifices, Lewenza says it’s hoping to make some progress now that the companies are making a profit.
But the union says it is adamantly opposed to a two-tiered pay system that would see newer employees make less.