Discussions between General Motors and Canadian union Unifor took a wild turn yesterday after the U.S. automaker warned the union it would begin to wind down production at the CAMI assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada, and “ramp up production in Mexico.”
General Motors builds the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox at three North American facilities: the CAMI plant, and two Mexico-based plants. Right now, the Mexican plants are not capable of producing the volumes the CAMI plant can, but GM plans to study how quickly it can move key supplier operations to support the Mexican plants, according to a Reuters report.
The decision to move GMC Terrain production from the CAMI plant to Mexico is the key bargaining issue in Unifor and GM’s discussions. The union previously said it would not give in unless GM declares CAMI the lead Chevrolet Equinox assembly plant, which it believes is essential to ensure future job security. At the CAMI plant, 600 jobs were lost with the Terrain production relocation.
It’s gotten serious for GM, too. The most recent report stated the automaker only has a 41-day supply of the hot-selling 2018 Chevrolet Equinox since CAMI workers walked out on the job almost one month ago.
Unifor President Jerry Dias said he would not call off the strike and said, “[GM has] declared war on Canada.”