President of the Canadian Auto Workers, Jerry Dias, said the organization is “not a union that’s afraid of injunctions,” after the province of Ontario said its organized supply chain strikes were illegal and urged it not to undertake such proceedings.
Unifor carried out the so-called “bottleneck strikes” earlier this year after General Motors announced it would be closing the Oshawa Assembly Plant before the end of 2019. These strikes saw Unifor workers walk out of crucial supply plants, forcing the automaker to temporary halt production in Oshawa.
Around 100 workers walked off the job the Inteva Products plant just outside of Oshawa in mid-January, while workers at a nearby Lear Corp. staged a walk out shortly after in early February. Additionally, a temporary sit-in protest was held at the Oshawa Assembly plant in January, which also saw workers block the entrance to the factory for two days.
The Ontario labor board ruled the strikes illegal, but Dias says the union won’t be intimidated by regulators.
“Those that think they can hide behind the legal process really don’t know us very well, because that doesn’t mean anything to me,” Dias told Automotive News Canada. “We’re not going to stop fighting because some legal tribunal tells us we have to. And if you look at the history of the labor movement, it wasn’t exactly built on blind obedience.”
Dias said the strikes help to bring awareness to their cause and expedite the negotiating process.
Unifor has halted its campaign against GM after the automaker agreed to enter discussions with the union about the future of the plant. It has not held any strike actions, nor aired or published any anti-GM ads, since February.
Source: Automotive News