It’s crunch time for Unifor and General Motors Canada. The Canadian labor union and GM have yet to reach a new, four-year labor agreement ahead of Unifor’s strike authorization.
The Star reports Unifor President, Jerry Dias, reiterated the union’s goal of investment and new product at the Oshawa assembly plant or no dice in new statements.
“If we don’t nail it now, we’re not going to nail it done, ever,” said Dias. “If they are planning on closing Oshawa, then we’re going to have a strike.”
Unifor has also selected GM as its target automaker, which sets the tone for labor contracts with Ford and Fiat-Chrysler as well. Dias acknowledged GM was a difficult choice to make as its target, but the union understands the battle it has picked.
“If there is an 800-pound gorilla in the room, you might as well deal with the friggin’ gorilla. That’s what General Motors is,” he said
“We haven’t talked about product yet – they know they are going to have come clean realistically.”
97 percent of Unifor union members voted to authorize a strike of over 6,000 workers if a deal is not reached by 11:59 p.m. on September 19, 2016. GM also reiterated it would continue to work for a mutually beneficial agreement, and declined to discuss future product commitments in the nation.
The product commitment comes at a tough time for the Canadian union while GM sets record profits in the industry, $10 billion in 2015, and $4.8 billion through the first half of 2016.
Earlier this week, United Auto Workers President, Dennis Williams, announced the UAW’s support for Unifor and Dias stating the union will back whatever the outcome is in Canada.
“Dennis will do the exact same thing,” Dias noted, and added, “he’s an incredible trade unionist and personal friend.”