The Canadian Auto Workers says Ford has asked the union to match recent concession-filled labour deals with General Motors and Chrysler so the company can remain competitive.

CAW negotiator Mike Vince says the union met with Ford management last night and the company outlined its case for why the automaker needs a new contract with its workers.

Vince says the company argued it needs a new contract so it can compete with GM and Chrysler in Canada as well as with its own U.S. operations.

And CAW economist Jim Stanford says Ford is looking for the same general concessions CAW workers gave to the other companies.

Although the CAW’s current contract with Ford doesn’t expire until 2011, Ford says new labour agreements with the other American automakers have put it at a disadvantage.

The CAW says it will now decide whether it will agree to reopen contract negotiations.

Ford was the only one of the so-called Detroit Three carmakers not to get any U.S. or Canadian government financial help to stay alive and restructure. As a condition of that aid, GM and Chrysler were forced to negotiate new deals with their unions in Canada and the U.S.