General Motors could soon face a two-front attack as it begins implementing a massive restructuring designed to save the automaker $6 billion by 2020. The United Auto Workers union and Unifor presidents met last week to discuss a plethora of topics including issues both have with the automaker. Cooperation between the two took a step forward earlier this month when the UAW joined Unifor in calling for a boycott of Mexican-built GM vehicles. It appears further cooperation is possible in the future.
“We both understand that we have our problems with General Motors, that’s for sure,” Unifor President Jerry Dias, according to Automotive News. “We get that we’re better together. We’re a lot stronger together when we’re dealing with issues like General Motors.”
Both Unifor and the UAW have criticized GM for its decision to close five North American factories, lay off thousands, and discontinue several low-profit models like the Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Impala. However, Unifor has been more aggressive in its tactics. So far, Unifor has held sit-in protests, walked off the assembly line, blocked access to GM’s Canadian headquarters, and ran a commercial during Super Bowl LIII that caused GM to threaten a lawsuit against the union.
“Unifor and the UAW are and always have been committed to act in solidarity on behalf of our members and working families in Canada and the United States,” reads a joint statement from the two unions. “United we are stronger. And we remain united through our shared goals and heritage whether from this latest challenge with GM or in future challenges.”
Both unions want GM to reverse course on its restructuring and plan to close the five North American factories. However, while the UAW and Unifor continue to criticize the automaker, GM employees working at plants the company wants to close are already accepting new positions at other GM factories. GM even announced the addition of 1,000 new jobs at Flint Assembly.