Autoworkers in Canada contract with GM

Nathan Dennett/The Canadian Press/AP

Unifor workers strike outside the General Motors St. Catharines powertrain plant in St. Catharines, Ontario. Unifor’s strike lasted less than a day, and a ratification vote on Sunday prevented the strike from resuming.


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Autoworkers in Canada agreed to a new labor contract with General Motors on Sunday.

Members of Unifor, the Canadian union representing 4,300 workers at GM, voted 80% in favor of the new contract, which increases their base wages by nearly 20% over the life of the deal and improves their pensions. In September, Ford had members of the same union Only 54% voted in favor Similar agreement.

The strike threatened to disrupt operations at GM’s U.S. plants, which depend on engines and transmissions built by UNIFOR members at some of GM’s Canadian facilities.

If Unifor’s GM grade-and-file rejected the tentative contract, the union was ready to resume the strike immediately. Given the low vote at Ford, a new strike at GM is a distinct possibility. Last week, rank-and-file members of the United Auto Workers voted Temporary labor contract Heavy truck manufacturer make trucks and He went on strike as a consequence. The strike continues.

UNIFOR members in three Ontario cities went on strike at GM on Monday after a deadline of 11:59 p.m. The The strike ended Tuesday after 1 p.m., when the two sides announced a tentative agreement.

“I am proud of our members at General Motors for their solidarity throughout the brief but decisive strike action and for ratifying this agreement with life-changing improvements,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. “This agreement represents true collective bargaining. Our goal was to bring greater fairness and equity to the automotive workplace and lift everyone up. And we did it.”

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“Nothing worthwhile is ever easy – labor negotiations are no exception,” GM Canada president and managing director Marisa West said in a statement. “Together we have secured an agreement that recognizes the many contributions that our 4,200 representative team members will make, positioning GM Canada competitively for the future, through significant increases in wages, benefits and job security.”

Unifor will now focus on winning a similar deal for its members at Stellandis, which makes vehicles for the North American market under the Jeep, Ram, Dodge and Chrysler brands.

The two contracts in Canada contradict GM, Ford and Stellantis’ strike against US operations.

More than 33,000 members of the United Auto Workers union are on strike against the three companies. The The strike began on September 15 And targeted an assembly plant of each automaker. It was the first time the UAW had gone on strike against all three companies at the same time. UAW ever since extended the strike Two more assembly plants at Ford and one at GM, as well as networks of 38 parts distribution centers operated by GM and Stellantis.

Public comments from both sides suggest talks are far from over, and neither has given any indication that a deal is imminent.

UAW President Shawn Fine The union told members on Friday that they were prepared to extend the strike without warning if company negotiators did not improve their offers. Ford executives said last week that it had reached a limit on the amount of additional money it could offer to reach a deal.

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