GM previously said it would wait until 2016 to make a decision in regards to new product allocation at its Oshawa, Ontario facility. Unifor’s contract expires in the fall of 2016, the same year production commitments GM has with the Canadian government expire and the plant’s consolidated line will shut down.
President of GM Canada, Steven Carlisle, seemed open to early talks with Unifor when asked by Reuters early last week.
“Who’s to say what’s possible at this stage?” he said. “It’s been done before – so let’s see. I wouldn’t rule it out.”
Unifor would first be looking to know what product could potentially be made at the Oshawa plant if talks were to go forward.
“It doesn’t make any sense to go into bargaining if we don’t know what the finish line is,” Unifor National President Jerry Dias said. “We need to understand what it is we’re chasing.”
Carlisle said any talks in regards to future product allocation at Oshawa would have to start with simple issues like cost, a common concern for companies, especially automakers, operating in Canada.
“We could take any old generic product and say, ‘what does the business case for that product look like in Oshawa versus some other place?’” said Carlisle.