The Canadian Auto Workers Union or CAW has selected Ford Motor Co. (F: Quote) as the target automaker for contract talks ahead of a strike deadline at midnight on September 17, Monday.
CAW President Ken Lewenza said that while the union will continue talks with General Motors Co. (GM: Quote) and Fiat SpA's (FIATY) Chrysler Group LLC, it will focus on high-level contract negotiations with Ford.
In the past, CAW has focused on talks with one of Detroit's Big Three automakers and used a contract agreement as a template for talks with the other two automakers. Ford has now been chosen as the target company.
The CAW has said it commenced preparations for a possible strike at any company without a deal by the deadline of September 17, when the current contract expires. However, the union could extend the strike deadline for GM and Chrysler if it reaches a deal with Ford.
The CAW kicked off talks with the automakers in mid-August in Toronto. The union, the largest private sector union in Canada, represents about 21,000 workers at General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.
The last CAW strike was in 1996, against General Motors. According to the CAW, a strike at all three companies would result in lost production of about C$200 million per day at the automakers and their suppliers.
Automakers say that Canada has become the most expensive place in the world to make cars, thanks to a strong Canadian dollar, and have been pushing for cost cuts.
F closed Friday's regular session at $10.53, up $0.19 or 1.84 percent on a volume of 55.92 million shares.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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