The most crucial labor talks in the history of General Motors Canada will be under way soon, as employees begin to deal with the thought of the automaker pulling manufacturing out of the country. GM has not committed to any new vehicle production or manufacturing investment past 2017.
Canada’s largest industrial union, Unifor, has stated it will seek investment by GM, or there will be no deal, according to The Detroit Free Press.
“It’s not a threat,” said Jerry Dias, president of Unifor, the union representing about 23,500 workers at GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler in Canada. “We’re dealing with global employers. We need to be candid with each other. I don’t believe in flirting around the edges.”
Unifor has submitted a list of proposals for GM, but the automaker has not responded as of this writing. The union is expected to choose one automaker to reach an agreement with and lay the foundation for the other two American automotive companies.
GM has already announced it will end production on one of the two lines at the Oshawa assembly, responsible for the Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Equinox. Both will leave Canada in 2017 with no future vehicles slated past 2019.
The union will use GM’s latest investments against it; Unifor plans to point to GM’s $23 billion investment into the U.S. over the past years as an arguing point for future Canadian investment.
“If they invested $23 billion in the U.S. last year, they can invest in Canada,” Dias said.