General Motors and the Canadian Auto Workers union are in contract talks in Toronto.
The closed-door meeting started with a friendly handshake between CAW leader Buzz Hargrove and GM Canada v-p Al Green. The CAW represents about 17,000 GM workers in Canada.
GM says Canadian labor rates are the second highest behind the US of the 18 countries it makes vehicles.
The CAW has warned that the carmakers' falling U-S market share and weakening profits won't keep the union from fighting for better benefits.
Negotiations with Ford and DaimlerChrysler start later this week. The Big Three's contracts with the Canadian union expire in September.