CAW open to cutting costs

But union won't agree to lower wages for new employees
||Last Updated: 04/08/2008

Heading into a summer round of negotiations, the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union is standing firm against the Detroit Big Three auto makers' desire to slash Canadian wage and benefit costs.

Chrysler, General Motors and Ford, which have reported billions of dollars in losses, want to cut hourly costs from an average of $77 US to closer to the $49 US paid by Japanese auto makers in the United States.

The union will consider ways to reduce costs but won't agree to lower wages for newly hired employees or reduced time off and it can't make up for extra costs associated with the rising loonie, said CAW president Buzz Hargrove.