Canadian Auto Workers Approve GM Deal
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 25, 2009 8:13 PM CDT
Newly-elected Canadian Auto Workers President Ken Lewenza speaks as outgoing president Buzz Hargrove, right, applauds during the CAW Special Convention in Toronto on Saturday Sept. 6, 2008.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)
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(Newser) – Canadian Auto Workers members voted 86% in favor of a cost-cutting deal with General Motors Canada as the automaker bids to qualify for more government loans and assure its future in Canada. Union leader Ken Lewenza said his members had no choice but to vote for the deal. "They understand the crisis in the auto industry," he said. "The vote shows that."

The settlement allows GM Canada to meet the cost benchmarks set by the Canadian government, namely making cuts to become competitive with non-unionized Toyota Canada. The deal also stipulates that GM's plants in Ontario will stay open. Lewenza said there is little doubt that GM will file for bankruptcy in the US and said there's a real possibility it will do so in Canada as well.