Canadian labor union Unifor has said it will hold a press conference on Thursday, November 4th at 11 a.m. ET as the strike deadline with General Motors Canada on Wednesday night approaches.
According to Automotive News Canada, the press conference will see Unifor leaders provide an update on the status of its ongoing negotiations with GM Canada as it looks to ratify a new contract for the 1,600 workers employed at Oshawa Assembly, St. Catharines Powertrain and its parts distribution center in Woodstock. The vast majority of these estimated 1,600 employees work out of the powertrain plant in St. Catharines.
GM Canada would not provide any details on the negotiations when approached for comment by AN Canada, however a spokesperson for the company told the publication that it “remains focused on reaching a new fair, flexible agreement for the 1,600
represented employees,” under the Unifor contract. Unifor officials did not return its requests for comment. The strike deadline is set for Wednesday night at 11:59 p.m. ET.
GM is the last of the Big Three to head to the bargaining table with Unifor. It selected Ford to negotiate with first and successfully negotiated a new contract that will include reduced wag grow-in periods and $1.8 billion to retool and build new battery electric vehicles at its Oakville Assembly plant. FCA agreed to similar concessions, committing up to $1.58 billion to build hybrid and electric vehicles in Canada in the near future.
Unifor president Jerry Dias said last month that he would like to see vehicle production return at Oshawa Assembly, as the advanced production plant has been sitting idle since GM shut it down last year. He also said he would not be making “any outlandish predictions,” though, as GM only recently made the decision to shutter the plant and lay off the 1,200 people who worked there.
GM’s CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, which builds the Chevrolet Equinox, is not included in this contract, as the workers there are covered under a separate agreement that does not expire until 2021.
Full details of the situation between GM Canada and Unifor will come to light following the press conference, so be sure to subscribe to GM Authority for ongoing GM-related Unifor news, GM union news and ongoing General Motors news coverage.