Toronto, Ontario, Canada – General Motors and Unifor, Canada’s primary autoworkers union, have reached a tentative agreement that calls for investments in GM manufacturing operations, averting a strike.
"This framework puts into motion what will be a historic agreement to secure a future for our members, for our communities and for the auto industry in Canada," says Unifor National President Jerry Dias, who led the negotiations. "At this late hour we have language in place to address our bargaining priorities and there will be no strike."
Unifor and GM will continue to finalize the framework to reach a tentative agreement, the first in the 2016 round of negotiations with Detroit’s automakers. Unifor indicated that the framework, along with stabilizing jobs with product and investment, recognizes the valuable contribution of the workers.
"The bargaining committee has worked hard to come this far, it is a testament of our hard work and the incredible support shown by members and the public throughout negotiations." Says the Unifor GM Bargaining Committee chair Greg Moffat from Local 222 in Oshawa. "Through the unity of all our locals in bargaining we have stood true to the needs of our members."
Unifor picked GM as the target company on Sept. 6, 2016, to set a pattern in its negotiations that will be used with Ford and Fiat-Chrysler. A strike deadline was set for Tuesday, September 20. Once the framework is formalized it was create a tentative agreement that members will review and have an opportunity to vote on.
”The agreement will enable significant new product, technology, and process investments at GM’s Oshawa, St. Catharines, and Woodstock facilities, placing those operations at the forefront of advanced manufacturing flexibility, innovation and environmental sustainability,” GM officials say. “This agreement is subject to member ratification. We will be working with government on potential support, and will provide further details on the investment at the appropriate time, while respecting Unifor’s ratification process.”
General Motors employs 4,000 Unifor members in Oshawa, St. Catharines, and Woodstock making the Impala, Equinox, Buick Regal, Cadillac XTS, and GMC Terrain, as well as engines, transmissions and components.