OSHAWA / TORONTO, ON, September 20, 2016 —
General Motors of Canada and Unifor have reached a tentative new collective agreement, covering approximately 3,860 represented employees, averting a strike. The deal came just after the midnight strike deadline this morning ( Sept. 20th 2016 ). Few details have been released.
Executives with General Motors say the agreement will enable significant new product, technology and process investments at GM’s Oshawa, St. Catharines and Woodstock facilities. GM officials go further and say the deal "will place those operations at the forefront of advanced manufacturing flexibility, innovation and environmental sustainability".
The agreement seems to have resolved the issue of investing in GM's Oshawa assembly facility. One of the plant's lines is slated to close next year, and GM has not announced plans to produce any new vehicles on the second line after 2019.
Union leaders were adamant there would be no deal without a commitment to install a new product in the Oshawa plant securing its future.
The contract still needs to be ratified by union members. General motors executives have indicated in a statement that they will be working with government on potential support, and will provide further details on new investment at the appropriate time, while respecting Unifor’s ratification process. Those words seem to indicate some sort of deal to put a new vehicle into Oshawa has been reached.
GM also operate the CAMI plant in Ingersoll Ontario, but workers there are operating under a different agreement.
The new contract will set the pattern for bargaining, as Unifor now sets its sites on negotiations with Ford Canada, and Fiat Chrysler America.
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