CAW members at GM’s CAMI plant in Ontario have voted to begin negotiating their contracts as early as this week after a vote by workers. At stake is the production of the GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox, two popular crossovers that may have their production moved to Mexico or the United States.
The Theta crossovers, as their known internally, are hot sellers for GM. CAMI is working beyond capacity, and overflow production is currently being sent to the former Saturn site in Tennessee that has been rumored as a possible full-time production facility. The CAW will reportedly seek a deal that is similar to the pattern agreement reached with workers at GM’s Oshawa plants this past summer. GM officials previously hinted that an early contract negotiation and agreement would significantly bolster the Theta crossovers chances of staying in Ontario, rather than moving them to locations with lower labor costs like Mexico or Tennessee.
Another issue in play is whether GM could even do so without violating a key bailout condition. GM is required to keep at least 16 percent of its production in Canada as part of its Canadian bailout package. Having already partially moved the next-generation Impala to Michigan, GM may be in danger of falling below the threshold if Theta production were to go as well (and no replacement product was found).