By on August 28, 2016


Canadian autoworkers represented by Unifor have authorized strike action against all Detroit Three automakers “if a fair and reasonable settlement is not reached before the September 19th deadline,” announced Unifor Sunday night.

“With this clear mandate our members have demonstrated they are in full support of their bargaining committees, and our direction in this set of negotiations. The bargaining committee will not accept a deal without a commitment to investment in Canada’s auto sector,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

According to Unifor, Fiat Chrysler workers voted 99.0 percent in favor of strike action, Ford Motor Company employees voted 98.9 percent in favor, and General Motors workers — who arguably have the most to lose in this round of labor negotiations — voted 97.1 percent in favor.

Strike authorization is not a new tactic used by Unifor in its negotiations with the Detroit Three. In 2012, almost four years ago to the day of Sunday’s strike authorization, Canadian Auto Workers union members voted overwhelmingly in favor to give bargaining committees permission to call a strike.

Labor negotiations began between Unifor and General Motors on August 10th, followed by Ford and FCA on August 11th.


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19 Comments on “Unifor Auto Workers Authorize Strike Against Detroit Three...”

  • avatar

    WE WILL STRIKE… unless our demands are met on or before September 19th.

    Dum dum dum.

    • 0 avatar

      If I were Ford, I’d first offer free vision care to all those responsible for vehicle body assembly as well as quality control.

      Maybe if the Edge didn’t look like its panels were fitted by workers who were part of a labor pitch to the visually impaired community, they could get a better deal.

      The only vehicles I’ve had that were built there were Tempos. My Oakville-built 92 LX had 80k on it when I bought it in 2000, it had none of the embarrassing panel gaps and fitment issues shown by that Edge featured on this site a while back.

      I guess all those years of building those awful Wind/Freestar and Monterey junkers really took their toll on quality and pride in workmanship. I had no memorable build-quality related issues on my Canadian-built Tempos, some of them with less miles, some in great condition, some old and, uh, well used.

      Ford can do better (clearly, because it does elsewhere, and used to there), they need to do what it takes to bring lagging issues up to par.

  • avatar

    A strong strike vote does not necessarily mean they will go on strike. It does show that the membership is backing the negotiating committees. It will indirectly put pressure on government to “help” auto companies stay in Canada.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not seasoned on how this works but I am guessing this is meant to set a deadline for the existing back-channel negotiations. Perhaps also to help extort more money from your government, I couldn’t really say.

    • 0 avatar

      Lou_BC, spot on. A strike mandate is a ritual that is part of the theatre of labour negotiations. The real “man bites dog” story would be if the membership refused to give a strike mandate.

    • 0 avatar

      @Lou_BC. Similar know doubt to what happened in Australia

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        I think sooner or later Governments will become like Australia and tell the auto manufacturers to become competitive.

        UNIFOR asking for more will only be reducing this ability by the manufacturers. Canada is a high cost manufacturing nation.

        In Australia many process workers, (remember most are not skilled, most are semi-skilled) don’t warrant much more than the base wage. These guys were on around $70 000 per year. Way too much for what they do and the skillsets required.

  • avatar

    Now they’ll pick one of the 3 as their target. I’m betting GM will be the first on the list.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t think GM will be the target. This is pattern bargaining. So, it will be either Ford or FCA that sets the benchmark, then Unifor will put pressure on GM to follow suit.

      • 0 avatar

        If they’re looking for a commitment to invest in Canadian plants, why would they pick FCA, which has put a huge investment into their Windsor plant to build their new minivans? Their Brampton plant builds the 300, Charger, and Challenger and all three are selling well. With FCA, it’s all about pay and benefits, with GM it should be about keeping plants open, and with Ford, it’s a bit of both. If they’re looking for a pattern contract, it must all be about money.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Now, don’t get me wrong here.

          If UNIFOR are looking for money to be invested in the Canadian plants, why would you want to reduce the amount of money to be invested by asking for more?

          Wouldn’t you be better off in the longer term by wanting investment into the plants.

        • 0 avatar

          FCA has the most to lose, since they’ve exposed themselves to union demands by investing in Canadian production. They have to listen to organized labor demands. On the other hand, GM would love a reason to tell Unifor and Canada that it’s been real, but it’s really over. Unifor striking against GM would have all the leverage of a shoplifter threatening to stop coming into their store.

      • 0 avatar

        Mark …Your right , i would be shocked to see GM picked. As Lorenzo mentions , FCA is the mostly likely target. That being said , Sergio is no pushover.

        If i was a betting man, i would say ?? 20 percent chance of a GM target ,30 percent Ford, 50 percent FCA

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I’m hoping the manufacturers don’t get caught up in renumeration offers. This is what kills everyone.

    I would make a deal to offer more money and reduce benefits to help offset any pay rise.

  • avatar

    Unifor sounds like a shampoo company. They should rename it when they strike!

  • avatar

    The only thing that I see this as is the additional incentive for GM to depart Oshawa, excepting their recently announced technology center, once and for all.

    Hard to say about FCA; Marchione has expressed his displeasure with Canadian dealings/operations before and their future vehicle line-up seems a bit clouded anyway.

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