BREAKING: GM Canada, Unifor Reach Tentative Deal, Stay away from Strike Oshawa Plant Saved

Jerry Dias, Unifor President, Image: OFL Communications Department (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Soon after contract negotiations went correct down to the midnight deadline, GM Canada and autoworkers union Unifor reached a tentative deal final night, averting a looming strike at Canadian GM plants.

Bargaining teams from the automaker and Unifor, which represents Detroit 3 workers in Canada, reached what union boss Jerry Dias called “a framework for a tentative agreement.” Not only does the deal avert a shutdown at 3 Ontario GM facilities, it saves the threatened century-old Oshawa assembly plant.

No jobs will be lost, and a new (but unnamed) product will go into production in Oshawa.

“Did we accomplish our objective? I would say to you that the answer is yes,” mentioned Dias, adding that the agreement was unanimously supported by both sides.

The objective of this round of contract talks was to safe investment and new solution from all three automakers. With GM as its target firm, Unifor sought the salvation of the Oshawa plant and improved solution for its St. Catharines engine and transmission plant.

It seems that GM Canada handed over each. Specifics are scarce, as Dias wanted to flesh out the finer points with his members, but he did say that Oshawa will turn out to be the very first North American GM assembly plant capable of creating both vehicles and trucks. A new product is on the way, he added.

In a statement, GM Canada mentioned the agreement “will enable important new item, technologies and method investments at GM’s Oshawa, St. Catharines and Woodstock facilities, putting these operations at the forefront of sophisticated manufacturing flexibility, innovation and environmental sustainability.”

No jobs will be lost at Oshawa, and short-term workers at all GM Canada facilities — about 700 in all — will be converted to complete time. Current members didn’t concede a issue to reach the deal, Dias mentioned. The tentative deal, which must nevertheless be ratified by all members, contains pay increases for employees, seemingly across the board.

“This agreement gives increases for our members, it gives — most importantly — job safety in an market that has been lacking safety for years,” mentioned Dias, adding that there was nevertheless “some things” that each bargaining committees required to tie down.

In a reversal of recent trends, the St. Catharines plant will see the addition of product as soon as allocated to Mexico.

What solution will come to Oshawa? Presently, the only solution leaving the plant is the Buick Regal, Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac XTS. Overflow Chevrolet Equinox production from GM’s CAMI plant is handled by Oshawa’s Consolidated Line, but that will end as the line is scrapped and Chevrolet downsizes the model.

Dias’ phrasing — “cars and trucks” — leaves the door open for a truck, SUV or crossover model to join the plant. After the Consolidated Line is mothballed in 2017, the plant’s Flex Line will continue operations till the solution switchover is completed. Oshawa lost its GM truck plant in 2009.

Unifor members at all 3 GM Canada facilities will meet to ratify the agreement this Sunday. As for its bargaining dates with Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Dias said the nature of the GM agreement “is going to help us in some respects and trigger grief in other situations.”

[Image: OFL Communications Division (Flickr) [CC BY two.], through Wikimedia Commons]

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Government Money Could Sweeten GM Canada Contract Talks Cami Plant and UAW Vow to Help Strike

The enduring popularity of the Chevrolet Equinox has led General Motors to some creative manufacturing approaches to keep up with demand. In addition to the crossoverÕs assembly home in Ingersoll, Ontario, GM runs a shuttle system that takes Equinox bodies to Oshawa, Ont., for painting and final production, Image: General Motors Canada

With GM Canada and Detroit Three autoworkers union Unifor making little headway in contract negotiations, the possibility of government subsidies has raised its head.

At week’s finish, the two sides were reportedly far apart as the clock ticks down to feasible strike action at midnight on September 19. With Basic Motors as its strike target, Unifor lists new investment and item at the endangered Oshawa assembly plant as its number one particular demand.

According to the Detroit Free of charge Press, the Canadian workers’ union boss is encouraged by talk of indirect federal government intervention.

Citing an earlier report in the Globe and Mail, the publication reports that modifications could be on the way for Canada’s Automotive Innovation Fund, produced in 2008 to provide low-interest loans to automakers and suppliers.

Unifor president Jerry Dias told the Cost-free Press yesterday that the government has signaled to him its intention of switching the fund from a loan system to one particular that delivers grants.

“Do I believe that that will play a function and provide an help to us in our negotiations? The answer is yes,” Dias mentioned.

The possibility of direct government subsidies would certainly sweeten the pot for GM, though the government hasn’t officially declared its intentions, and time is running quick to avert a walkout at three Ontario facilities.

Earlier this week, GM’s Cami assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario pledged to assistance Unifor workers in the event of a strike. Cami builds Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossovers, and is covered by a diverse collective agreement. If GM workers stroll off the job after their contract expires, Cami’s Unifor Neighborhood 88 has pledged to not install replacement parts sent to them by U.S. factories.

Production at Cami would be hampered by the loss of components from GM Canada’s St. Catharines engine and transmission plant. Apart from St. Catharines and Oshawa Assembly, a components depot in Woodstock, Ontario would also be impacted by a strike.

Subsidies or no subsidies, the union’s objective of maintaining Oshawa alive hinges on new merchandise, and there appears to be no movement on that front. Following losing truck and Chevrolet Camaro production in current years, the plant’s two assembly lines are bleeding product. The plant handles overflow production of the Equinox, as properly as the Chevrolet Impala, Buick Regal and Cadillac XTS — goods that can (and in some instances, will) be built elsewhere. Its Consolidation Line could depart subsequent year, with no guarantees that its Flex Line won’t do the identical by 2019.

Speaking to the Toronto Star this week, Kristin Dziczek, director of investigation at the independent Center for Automotive Investigation in Ann Arbor, Michigan, said Unifor chose the right tack in seeking new item, but admits the predicament does not look great.

“There are no items hanging out there hunting for a property,” she said, referring to Oshawa.

Meanwhile, Dias stated he’s received assistance from Dennis Williams, president of the United Auto Workers. The two have a mutual agreement to not undermine any strike action taken by the other — which means, in this case, that UAW will not agree to increase production at U.S. plants to make up for a loss of Canadian item.

[Image: General Motors Canada]

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