CAW: Canada's Auto Plants Most Productive

Canadian auto plants are more efficient than U.S. and Mexican counterparts, according to a study by the Canadian Auto Workers union.

TORONTO (CP) -- Canadian auto plants are more efficient than U.S. and Mexican counterparts, according to a study by the Canadian Auto Workers union.

The study, by CAW economist Jim Stanford, also suggests unionized auto plants have higher labor productivity than non-union auto plants.

The union says Canada's productivity advantage "is a valuable ace in Canada's hand" as the auto industry restructures.

The CAW study says average productivity is more than 11 percent higher in Canadian than in U.S. plants, and about 35 percent better than in Mexico.

The report also states CAW-represented auto plants are the most productive, on average, of all plants in North America.

The union says its analysis is based on government and industry data, including the Harbour Report, a leading survey of auto productivity.

CAW president Ken Lewenza says higher productivity is at least as important as wage levels in determining an industry's competitiveness.

"It is no accident that unionized Canadian auto plants are the most efficient on the continent," he said.

"Our productivity advantage is a reality that must be recognized by both the automakers and governments in the difficult months ahead."

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