TORONTO — The Canadian Auto Workers union decided late Monday to keep working past a midnight strike deadline after reaching a deal with Ford and extending contracts with General Motors and Chrysler.
Workers, however, can go on strike after giving GM and Chrysler 24 hours’ notice, president Ken Lewenza said. The union, he added, agreed to contract extensions because top executives at both companies asked for more time to study the deal with Ford. The CAW wants the Ford contract to serve as a template. Ford Motor Co. workers vote on the tentative agreement next weekend.
Lewenza said negotiators for both GM and Chrysler came to Toronto to try to finalize a deal, and both requested more time.
‘‘At the end of the day, we’re hopeful we’ll get a deal,’’ he said. ‘‘If it’s good enough for Ford, it’s good enough for General Motors and for Chrysler.’’
But Lewenza warned he won’t hesitate to call a strike if he feels the companies are procrastinating over the next two or three days.
General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group confirmed they were continuing to talk but didn’t give further details.
Under the Ford deal, the company would pay new workers 60 percent of the current top wage of $34.74 an hour. They can move up the scale and reach the top wage in 10 years.
US workers at the Detroit automakers approved a similar two-tier agreement five years ago, but in those agreements, workers don’t automatically get the top wage after 10 years.
There are no base wage increases in the CAW agreement, which lasts until September 2016, but each employee would get a $2,000 lump sum to cover cost of living increases and a $3,000 ratification bonus.
If GM and Chrysler don’t go along with Ford, that could mean labor trouble, said Art Schwartz, who runs a consulting business. ‘‘I think the CAW is fully prepared to strike if they get a deal with one company and another decides to change it radically,’’ he said.