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A man walks into the General Motors car assembly plant in Oshawa on Sept. 17, 2012.
A man walks into the General Motors car assembly plant in Oshawa on Sept. 17, 2012.
(Michelle Siu/The Canadian Press)

Auto industry deals mark move to more ‘self-financing’ pensions

The new labour deal that Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. reached with their unionized Canadian workers includes significant reforms to pension financing, a liability that came close to crippling the Detroit auto makers during the 2008-2009 recession.

New employees at both companies will pay for an increasing share of their own pensions, under separate agreements negotiated last week between Ford and GM and the Canadian Auto Workers union. That’s a significant change from just four years ago, when the Detroit Three contributed 100 per cent of their unionized employees’ pensions in Canada.