Unifor’s negotiations with GM cover approximately 4,300 workers at the St. Catharines Powertrain Plant, Oshawa Assembly Complex and Woodstock Parts Distribution Centre. PHOTO courtesy GM Canada.
After reaching agreement on contract talks with Ford, Unifor has now set a deadline for its contract talks with General Motors. That deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 9.
Unifor’s negotiations with GM cover approximately 4,300 workers at the St. Catharines Powertrain Plant, Oshawa Assembly Complex and Woodstock Parts Distribution Centre. Unifor members at the Powertrain Plant build 6.8L, 5.3L, and 3.6L engines for a variety of vehicles, powertrains for the Chevrolet Equinox and Corvette, as well as a variety of engine component parts. Workers at the Oshawa plant build light- and heavy-duty Chevrolet Silverado trucks and the plant’s stamping operations supply various parts for GM North America.
Unifor wants to use its recent Ford contract as a template for the talks with GM and later Stellantis.
“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 Unifor National President Lana Payne.
The Ford deal included wage hikes, pension and benefit improvements, and special EV transition measures for workers at Ford’s assembly plant in Oakville, Ont. It also added two new paid holidays.
“Just as we had with Ford Motor Company, we hold a lot of negotiating leverage with GM. 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,” Payne told union members.
If the two sides are able to reach an agreement and once again avert strike action, it would be in sharp contrast to what’s happening south of the border where 13,000 U.S. autoworkers are on strike against Ford, General Motors and Stellantis.