TORONTO, OCT. 21 -- Bargainers for General Motors Corp. and its 40,000 Canadian workers resolved several issues in contract talks and pushed for a settlement before Thursday's strike deadline, both sides said today.
"If we work at it now, we can do it," said Robert White, president of the Canadian Auto Workers union.
The union and GM's Canadian subsidiary negotiated against a strike deadline of 10 a.m. Thursday affecting 13 major assembly and components plants in Ontario and Quebec provinces.
Talks do not involve employes of GM in the United States, who have reached a tentative pact with the company. But a walkout would spark layoffs among U.S. workers, as a 13-day strike against General Motors of Canada Ltd. did in 1984, because of interdependence on parts.
White said two union locals settled in-plant issues overnight Tuesday and three others were close to resolving the factory-level disputes. But much work remained involving the largest local at GM's Canadian base in Oshawa, Ontario.
"There's no reason why we can't get it done," said GM spokesman Stew Low.
Most monetary issues were settled early this week when GM matched basic provisions of three-year Canadian labor contracts negotiated earlier with Chrysler Corp. and Ford Motor Co.
The union struck Chrysler Canada Ltd. for six days last month to set a basic pattern contract that would serve as its model in talks with the Big Three. Ford later matched the pact that met the union's key demand to partially tie pension increases to inflation rates for future retirees.
GM Canada, which earned $301 million in 1986, agreed to increase assemblers' wages by 3 percent in the first year and the equivalent of 19 cents an hour, or 25 cents in Canadian currency, in each of the last two.
Assuming annual inflation of 5 percent, those increases and cost-of-living adjustments would boost an assembler's hourly wage by 1990 to the equivalent of about $13.50, or some $18 Canadian, from $11.50 under the old agreement.
Pension increases for future retirees would be indexed to inflation rates within maximum limits in a six-year program, while current pensioners would receive fixed increases.