February 23, 2024


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Auto workers in Canada agree to do business with GM

Auto workers in Canada agree to do business with GM

Nathan Dennett/The Canadian Press/AP

Union workers strike outside the General Motors St. Catharines Power Plant in St. Catharines, Ontario. The Unifor strike lasted less than a day, and the ratification vote on Sunday averted the opportunity to resume the strike.

New York

Auto workers in Canada ratified a new labor contract Sunday with General Motors, averting a resumption of a strike that lasted about 13 hours on Tuesday.

Members of Unifor, the Canadian union representing 4,300 GM workers, voted 80 per cent in favor of the new deal, which gives them base pay increases of about 20 per cent over the life of the deal and improves their pensions. In September, members of the same union were at Ford Only 54% voted for him From a similar contract.

The strike threatened to disrupt operations at GM’s U.S. plants that rely on engines and transmissions made by Unifor members at some GM’s Canadian facilities.

Had Unifor’s rank-and-file GMs voted against the initial deal, the union was prepared to resume the strike immediately. Given the tight vote at Ford, a new strike at GM was a distinct possibility. Last week, rank-and-file members of the United Auto Workers union voted no Temporary employment agreement With heavy truck manufacturer Mack Trucks and He went on strike as a result of. This strike continues.

Unifor members in three Ontario cities began a walkout at General Motors after the 11:59 p.m. deadline on Monday. the The strike is over Shortly after 1pm on Tuesday, when the two sides announced a tentative agreement.

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“I am proud of our members at GM for their solidarity throughout their short but decisive strike and the ratification of this contract containing life-changing improvements,” said Lana Payne, President of Unifor National. “This agreement reflects true collective bargaining. Our goal was to bring more fairness and equity to the automotive workplace and lift everyone up. We did that.”

“Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy – and business negotiations are no exception,” Marissa West, president and managing director of General Motors Canada, said in a statement. “Together, we have secured a deal that recognizes the many contributions of our 4,200 representative team members through significant pay increases, benefits and job security, while positioning GM Canada to remain competitive into the future.”

Unifor will now turn its attention to winning a similar contract for its members at Stellantis, which builds vehicles for the North American market under the Jeep, Ram, Dodge and Chrysler brands.

The two deals in Canada contrast with the strike against the US operations of General Motors, Ford and Stellantis.

The United Auto Workers union has more than 33,000 members on strike against the three companies. the The strike began on September 15 It targeted one assembly plant for each automaker. This was the first time the UAW had gone on strike simultaneously against the three companies. He has been UAW ever since The strike was expanded To two other assembly plants at Ford and one at General Motors, as well as networks of 38 parts distribution centers operated by GM and Stellantis.

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Public comments from both sides indicate that negotiations are far-fetched, and neither has given any indication that an agreement is imminent.

UAW President Sean Fein The union is prepared to continue expanding the strike without warning if company negotiators don’t improve their offers, he told union members on Friday. Ford executives said last week that they had reached the limits of the additional money they could offer to reach an agreement.