Unifor, Canada’s largest private sector union, has announced a new negotiating deadline in talks with GM. Unifor is aiming to secure a tentative agreement that follows the pattern previously established with Ford of Canada. Contract negotiations with GM began Tuesday, September 26th, 2023.
Unifor’s negotiating deadline with GM is set for Monday, October 9th at 11:59 p.m.
“Your bargaining committees are now focused on locking in the pattern agreement at General Motors,” writes Unifor leadership in a recent statement. “All of the significant increases to pensions, wages, health benefits, and more must now be bargained with [GM]. The gains negotiated in the pattern include the best wage package ever negotiated in the union’s history, as well as reducing the grow-in from 8 years to 4 years, a $10,000 productivity and quality bonus for full-time employees and a $4,000 bonus for TPTs.”
Unifor represents 4,300 GM workers, including members at the St. Catharines Powertrain Plant, the Oshawa Assembly Complex, and the Woodstock Parts Distribution Center. Unifor members produce both light- and heavy-duty variants of the Chevy Silverado pickup, as well as a variety of different GM engines and stamped parts used at various GM production facilities.
Unifor President Lana Payne said that it had a good deal of “negotiating leverage with GM,” citing production of “very lucrative pickup trucks” at the Oshawa facility, while calling the St. Catharines Powertrain Plant “a lynchpin for GM’s North American operations,” and the Woodstock distribution center “a key element” of GM’s parts network.
Unifor members ratified a new three-year collective agreement with Ford of Canada earlier this week, with the agreement to be used as a template in negotiations with the remaining two automakers that make up the Big Detroit Three, specifically GM and Stellantis. The new Ford agreement was ratified by a relatively slim margin, with only 54 percent of the 5,600 Ford workers voting in favor. Unifor’s new contract with Ford will expire on September 20th, 2026.