Under the new contract, workers at GM Canada’s plants in St. Catharines and Oshawa and its distribution center in Woodstock will receive a five percent increase to their hourly wage, a $7,250 bonus, $4,000 in inflation protection bonuses and improved benefits. The deal will also see automakers restore the 20 percent wage differential for skilled trades jobs.
Perhaps more importantly, though, are the various investments that GM has committed to under the new deal. The contract will see GM invest $1.3 billion in its Oshawa Assembly plant to bring production of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra there. With this investment, Oshawa Assembly will be the only GM truck plant capable of producing both light- and heavy-duty pickups.
Additionally, Unifor said the automaker will pump $109 million into the GM St. Catharines Powertrain plant to “in-source new transmission work for the Corvette and support continued V8 engine production,” at the facility. It has a smaller investment planned for the Woodstock parts distribution center, too, but it did go into detail on it.
The GM contract, along with the similar deals Unifor previously reached with Ford Motor Company and Fiat Chrysler, were made possible thanks to support from both the Canadian federal and the Ontario provincial governments.
“I want to thank both levels of government for supporting us,” Unifor president Jerry Dias said in a prepared statement. “We went into bargaining in the middle of a pandemic, facing great uncertainty. Now we can proudly say these three contracts will breathe new life into Canada’s auto sector.”
This contract does not include workers at the GM CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, which currently builds the Chevy Equinox crossover. The CAMI plant runs on a separate contract that will not expire until 2021, though workers there are still represented by Unifor.
GM’s manufacturing future in Canada was called into question after it shuttered the production line at Oshawa Assembly last year. The automaker is currently using floorspace at the facility for some parts production work and to make facemasks for the Canadian federal government.
Renovation work at both GM Oshawa Assembly and St. Catharines powertrain is expected to begin immediately.