Autoworkers give CAW strike mandate

Workers at GM, Chrysler and Ford vote to go on strike if necessary

Canadian autoworkers have given their union the greenlight to go on strike if negotiations with the Detroit Three sour.

Voting by members of the Canadian Auto Workers union (CAW) was conducted last week and over the weekend. CAW members at Chrysler have voted 99 per cent, General Motors 98 per cent and Ford 97 per cent in favour of going on strike if necessary, according to the CAW.

CAW president Ken Lewenza — who was just elected for another three-year term — said he was pleased with the mandate, calling it a clear sign that workers have confidence in the bargaining committees.

"Our members support their bargaining committees and trust them to negotiate a fair settlement that shares in the success of the companies," said Lewenza.

Negotiations with the Detroit Three resume today at the Sheraton Centre in downtown Toronto. The last CAW strike against the automakers occurred in 1996, when GM workers hit the picket line.

The current contract expires on Sept. 17 at 11:59 p.m.

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