CAW says Big 3 auto companies are making 'unprecedented demands' in negotiations

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TORONTO - The Canadian Auto Workers union says it's facing demands from General Motors, Chrysler and Ford that would create a two-tiered workforce, eliminate cost-of-living adjustments and make dramatic changes to their pension plans.

The union says the automakers are seeking the elimination of a full pension for employees with 30 years service, a shift to a defined contribution pension plan for current workers as well as cuts to prescription drug benefits.

The CAW also says the companies are refusing to commit to any new investments at its operations in Canada.

Each company has also insisted that any reward or bonus will be paid for by additional cuts to other areas of the agreement.

The union says it recognizes the need to stabilize fixed costs to addresses the industry's fragility, but it says the Big 3 aren't willing to negotiate "fair terms."

General Motors, Chrysler and Ford are on the road to recovery after benefiting from cuts made during the crisis negotiations of 2009, but the CAW says it has no intention of making these kinds of deep cuts again.

The union has set a strike deadline of midnight on Sept. 17, but it has not yet announced which of the automakers will be targeted.

Organizations: Big 3, General Motors, Chrysler Ford Canadian Auto Workers union

Geographic location: TORONTO, Canada

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