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General Motors selected as next Detroit 3 target company: Unifor

The Oshawa General Motors car assembly plant is shown in Oshawa, Ont., Monday, Nov 26, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Eduardo Lima The Oshawa General Motors car assembly plant is shown in Oshawa, Ont., Monday, Nov 26, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Eduardo Lima

One day after thousands of workers voted to ratify a new collective agreement with the Ford Motor Company, Unifor has announced its new Detroit Three target company.

According to Unifor National President Lana Layne, General Motors (GM) has been selected as the next target company in the union’s negotiations with the Detroit Three automakers.

“We’ve got an incredibly strong pattern agreement at Ford that will serve us well over the coming years. Our job now is to negotiate that pattern in the form of a renewal collective agreement with General Motors and Stellantis,” said Payne. “General Motors will be our next target company. Starting tomorrow Unifor will be at the table with GM.”

The union’s negotiations with GM will cover approximately 4,300 workers at the St. Catharines Powertrain Plant, Oshawa Assembly Complex and Woodstock Parts Distribution Centre.

Similar to the bargaining between Unifor and Ford, Payne believes the union holds “a lot of negotiating leverage with GM” due the importance of the three southern Ontario facilities.

“Their Oshawa facility is working around-the-clock producing very lucrative pick-up trucks. The St. Catharines engine and transmission facility, like Ford’s powertrain operations, is a lynchpin for GM’s North American operations. Our Woodstock distribution centre is also a key element of the company’s parts network,” she explained.

Negotiations with GM are set to begin on Sept. 26.

“I don’t expect this to be an easy round of talks and I want to make sure our union is best positioned to move this pattern forward for the benefit of all members, active and retired,” Payne added.

 

UNIFOR AND FORD REACH DEAL

On Sunday, Unifor announced that 54 per cent of members – representing 5,600 Ford autoworkers across Canada – voted to ratify a new three year collective agreement.

The new deal includes healthcare and pension benefits, hourly wage increases, a signing bonus, and additional paid vacation days, among others.

Unifor called it the single largest negotiated general wage increase in Unifor and CAW history.

On Aug. 29, Unifor announced the Ford Motor Company in its current round of negotiations with Ford, General Motors and Stellantis. 

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