By on September 16, 2013

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GM and Unifor (the union formerly known as the CAW) have reached a tentative agreement for the 2,500 workers at the CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, which builds the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain.

The Equninox and Terrain are hot sellers for GM, having sold nearly a quarter million units combined through August of this year. Inventories are tight, and a quick and easy ratification of the agreement would mean uninterrupted production for GM. Earlier in the year, there was speculation over GM moving production of the Theta twins (as they are known internally), to a cheaper location like Mexico or Tennessee. But GM ended up investing $250 million in CAMI for upgrades, including a flexible assembly line similar to the one used at GM’s Oshawa, Ontario plant.

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29 Comments on “GM, Unions Reach Tentative Agreement On CAMI Plant...”


  • avatar
    mikey

    Great news! It does have a little ripple effect here in Oshawa. Oshawa Stamping runs some of the metal. Cami also sends up sub assembled bodies to run down the Consolidated line, with the “Impala classic” A.K.A fleet car.

  • avatar
    DPerkins

    According to the Globe and Mail contract workers will be getting pensions and benefits…

    “The new contract means about 300 supplementary workers will become full-time employees and their wages will begin progressing from $23.91 an hour to the top rate of more than $32 an hour during the four years of the agreement. Those workers will now also receive full health care and other benefits, although they will have a defined contribution pension plan instead of the defined benefit plan that other employees have.”

    THAT is an interesting change of direction for the company and the industry.

  • avatar

    Yes and that’s good news for the Workers at CAMi, also this morning I hear that Ford in Oakville will be getting a large Payout to upgrade this plant from the Federal and Ontario Governments.anouncements to be made on Thurday 19th of September.,stay tuned!

  • avatar
    mikey

    General Motors in Canada informed the CAW that they will not provide a defined benefit plan for any new hire.

    Oshawa SWE’s will remain SWE’s under the present agrement

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Whats in the package?

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        The package?

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          The defined benefit plan, sorry misread plan as package.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            Its a “defined contribution plan” As I understand it the company contributes X number of dollars,and the employee kicks in X number of dollars. I’m not sure of the exact formula.

            Whatever amount of cash is there when you retire,is yours to administer as you see fit.

            Here in Canada a defined “benefit” plans are being phased out everywhere.

            Except for the government employees.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Sounds like a pension or 401K.

            We have the same problem with our gov’t employees in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @28-Cars-Later
            Here in Australia we call it superannuation. It is compulsory for everyone who works, whether full time or part time, any work or pay.

            This is a good idea, but…..it is an expense that drives up costs significantly. As you might know the cost of employing a person in Australia is very high, this contributes. Look at how our auto industry is dying, this is a factor.

            The problem in the US is that companies offered to pay for pension, ie, like the deal that has killed Detroit and the UAW inspired retirement plans from the Big 3.

            If the plan has the contributions going directly into a private fund each payday then it will work.

            If it is made compulsory like we have here in Australia, it will have a long term gain by reducing the need for a government subsidised retirement. The US, France and other countries will soon find out that they will have to means test retirees because they will not be able to fulfill their obligations to pay old age social security.

            In other words if you own a couple of homes then sell one to live on until you use that money up. We have that already, a very fair system. So those who genuinely require assistance from the government get it, not millionaires.

  • avatar
    ect

    The structure of defined contribution pension plans only provides a decent pension if you spend your entire career with one employer, and they fully fund their piece of it. If you leave an employer when you’re more than 5 years from retirement, you are royally screwed. You are also royally screwed if your employer takes contribution holidays when returns are good, but can’t make up the shortfall when markets go down.

    In an era aof workforce mobility, defined contribution plans are much more effective at building real retirement income. What is needed is legislation that mandates immediate vesting of employer contributions.

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      @ect- “The structure of defined contribution pension plans only provides a decent pension if you spend your entire career with one employer…” Don’t you mean defined benefit, i.e. pension? Not defined contribution.

      One of the pluses of defined contribution plans is portability. You always have the money and keep it if you change employers. a good friend just retired from GM after 44 years and decided to convert his pension to a lump sum instead of a defined pension payment plan. He decided to take on the risk of generating enough investment income to provide for his income needs, rather than letting the company do it. Another plus of a 401k us flexibility and heritability. You get to choose how much money to take and can adjust up, or down your “burn” rate. Money left when you die goes to your heirs. Pensions often have survivor benefits for a spouse, but all payments typically stop upon that person’s death.

      • 0 avatar
        ect

        I did indeed, doctor olds, that was a typo. Mea culpa, good catch.

        One thing to watch for in DC plans is the vesting of employer contributions. Most plans that I have seen provide that the employer portion doesn’t vest until the employee has 5 years of service. So, about half the money you see in your plan gors back to the employer if you leave within 5 years of joining. Which a lot of people do, these days – and not always of their own volition. This is a hole that needs to be filled.

  • avatar

    The Pension Plan that all Government workers in Canada have, usually with OMERS, is the Defined Benefit Plan, there Unions made sure that they would have this plan rather than the one most Companies want to give there employees, its a decent plan that was the norm until the Market fell apart, thanks to many Bank failures around the World/

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      OMERS only covers employees of municipalities in Ontario. It doesn’t cover other public sector workers in Ontario, nor does it cover public sector workers at the Federal level or in other provinces.

      It’s only a decent plan if you spend your entire working life in the municpal government sector in Ontario. If ever you leave municipal government to work in another place or level of government, or in the private sector, you get screwed over the same way you do in other defined benefit plans.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        Technically the idea of ‘worker mobility’ is really one for a select group of highly-educated people. Doctors, engineers, a certain amount of masters-level scientists really have that functional power. For everybody else that ‘mobility’ is a scramble for better benefits or a downsizing. If companies would stop looking at their payroll as a terrible expense but as an asset in doing business things would be different. But that won’t happen anytime soon and its a tragedy as real wages continue to fall and people still crow about their self worth.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          “masters-level scientists”

          Eh?

          Eleven years ago I did some work for a prominent Celluar & Molecular Biology prof. Even my sporadic visits to his lab brought me into contact with four Asian post-docs doing routine work that would have been given to undergrads a generation earlier.

          Post-docs in CMB steppin’ & fetchin’… 11 years ago.

        • 0 avatar
          ect

          Actually, each succeeding genration has become more workplace mobile. For Boomers, it was a white collar phenomenon, to be sure.

          But Gen Y and Gen Z take for granted that they will move jobs every few years. And they are doing it.

          At the same time, we’ve seen industrial workers forced to look for new work as companies have failed, downsized, etc.

          As one example, I saw a study of US real estate agents about a year ago, thsat found the average net worth of agents over 40 is less than $50,000. I’m sure the same can be said for other white collar workers.

          Mandatory defined contrbution plans, with immediate vesting of employer contributions, is almost the only way to build a retirement income for most people.

          Union leaders who cling to the myth that people walk in the factory or office door when they start their careers, and don’t leave until they retire, have their heads in the sand.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            True, “mobile” is a neutral and very flexible term. It can encompass situations from:

            “I can work anywhere.”
            to
            “There’s gotta be *somewhere* I can work.”

            Maybe we should bring back “itinerant” because it doesn’t impart any unwarranted positive spin.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Labour unrest is never good for the union or the company. Nice to see a quick settlement.
    It does make me nervous that the CAW and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union have merged into Unifor. 300,000 workers makes for a lot of clout and a lot of potential unrest.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    @Pch101
    Great summary :-)

    You can try and gloss over the truth. You seem quite intelligent at times, that’s why it is sometimes hard to comprehend the ridiculous comments you drop every now and then.

    The US has one of the most protected vehicle market in the free world.

    Those figures you gave seems to miss out on some significant barriers the US uses regarding global trade.

    Oh, and you missed a significant 25% tax, you guessed it, it’s called the chicken tax. Linden Johnson brought this into effect when the chicken tax bill was put through congress at the behest of the then UAW boss.

    What about a thing called technical barriers? They are equivalent to a 26% import tax. Hey Pch101, what are they? Why doesn’t the rest of the world do as we do. They use to sunshine, but now the US represents less than 20% of global vehicle trade. Everyone else is inferior and using inferior systems and regualtions, isn’t that right? You seems to speak about the superior US design regs that has the US with one of the highest fatality rates in the OECD.

    Who is causing these accidents? Not us, we have the best.

    Maybe the US should adopt what everyone else is doing, instead of becoming insular and isolated. Yup, you guessed it, UNECE regs. The most common system for vehicle regulations in the world. It actually supports and facilitates global trade. Great instrument, if you want to export that is.

    Hey Pch101, don’t let fact get in the way of your paradigms.

    Your problem is you have what is termed an Americian Exceptionalism issue. But I can live with that. I’ll have to continually correct you with the many errors you make:)

    The US is the greatest country, maybe not the best at everything. I’m from there and so is my family. But to some of the brainwashed guys, leave the US and look around the world, it’s an amazing place.

  • avatar

    these are wonderful products that sell well and are virtually trouble free. so glad the union and management were able to iron out their relationship so we can proceed with putting more of them in driveways across the land.


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