TORONTO, Sept. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Unifor announced that General Motors is the target company to set the pattern agreement in the current round of negotiations with the Detroit Three automakers.
"These negotiations are about the future of local communities, good jobs and the industry. Our demand is clear, invest today to build a future for tomorrow," Unifor National President Jerry Dias told a media conference in Toronto.
General Motors employs 6,600 Unifor members in Oshawa, Ingersoll and St. Catharines making the Impala, Equinox, Buick Regal, Cadillac XTS, and GMC Terrain, as well as engines, transmissions and components. Of the 6,600 members, there are 2,600 working at the CAMI plant in Ingersoll who are not part of the Master Agreement. About 23,050 Unifor members work at all the Detroit Three companies.
With pattern bargaining, negotiations focus on one company to reach an agreement that sets a standard for the auto industry in Canada. Once an agreement with the target company is ratified by members, focus in bargaining shifts to a second company, and then the third.
Unifor's current contract with the Detroit Three expires 11:59pm on Monday, September 19. Should a new agreement not be reached, Unifor autoworkers have voted overwhelmingly to give their bargaining committees authorization to call a strike if necessary to achieve key priorities. The union has made investment in Canada a top priority in this round of negotiations, to ensure the future prosperity of the auto industry in this country.
An independent study released by Unifor last week found that losing the Detroit Three would eliminate $26 billion from the economy, cut 150,000 jobs and cost $4.7 billion per year in government revenues.
"The strength of the auto industry in Canada is not only vital to those in the industry, but to the entire Canadian economy," Dias said.
"Policy makers and the public need to understand what is at stake here."
For more information and background, go to www.unifor.org/autotalks16 or follow @Autotalks16.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers, including 23,050 at the Detroit Three. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.