By on August 14, 2016

Jerry Dias, Unifor President, Image: OFL Communications Department (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Jerry Dias, Unifor President, isn’t mincing words going into this year’s labor negotiations with the Detroit Three. According to him, Ford and Fiat Chrysler see that they must commit to make investments in Canada to get a labor deal. General Motors? Not so much.

“There’s a clear difference between today’s discussions and the discussions yesterday,” Jerry Dias, president of Unifor, said at a press conference in Toronto on Thursday after discussions opened with Ford and FCA, according to the Financial Post. “Though we have similar challenges with both Ford and Fiat Chrysler, they understand that investment decisions are going to be a part of 2016 negotiations.”

Those are some politically correct, passive-aggressive fighting words.

Negotiations kicked off with a handshake ceremony Wednesday between General Motors and Unifor. Two other handshake ceremonies took place the following day between the union and the two other domestic manufacturers, Ford and FCA.

Of the three companies employing Unifor workers, those working at General Motors’ Oshawa plant have the most at stake.

According to earlier reports, there will be no second (or sixth) chance for Oshawa’s “doomed” Consolidated Line, which produces the Chevrolet Equinox and recently ended production of the previous-generation Impala, dubbed Impala Limited. That line is set to close in 2017.

However, workers on Oshawa’s Flex Line, which recently lost Camaro production last year and currently produces a number of models manufactured in other plans or slated for production elsewhere, still have hope that GM will allot it future production.

GM has stated it won’t make any decisions on the plant until labor negotiations conclude. Unifor’s stance going into the negotiations is there will be no labor deal without a commitment to Oshawa Assembly.

Ford’s engine plants in Windsor are also of concern to Unifor, but Dias said Ford understands the need to allot those plants future product to get a deal signed and ratified.

“I would like to compliment the management teams at both Ford and Fiat Chrysler for understanding our priority, and our priority here is that they must invest in Canada,” Dias said.

[Image: OFL Communications Department (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons]

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17 Comments on “Unifor President Praises Ford and FCA, Throws Shade at General Motors...”

  • avatar

    I can understand the congratulations to FCA, since it has already committed to the Windsor plant in a big way for its next-gen minivans, and the Brampton plant produces the 300, Charger, and Challenger, the only Dodge/Chrysler cars that still sell.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “Unifor’s stance going into the negotiations is there will be no labor deal without a commitment to Oshawa Assembly.”

    Well, that could make things very simple, or very complicated.

  • avatar

    Does Jerry get laid-off if Oshawa takes a hit?

    • 0 avatar

      Jerry should lay himself off in solidarity with any displaced Oshawa workers when the time comes.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        Because it’s his fault that GM is now a Chinese company?
        I understand that some people here don’t like unions, but maybe you should keep your eye on the ball?

        Unions have nothing to do with it. The problem is that the US and Canadian governments gave GM money with no strings attached. At the same time, the Chinese government loaned GM money with terms that gave away the company.
        Oshawa is just a drop in the bucket. Pretty soon all GM cars will be made outside of the US and Canada. Pickups will stay American a bit longer, but the Ren Cen won’t be calling the shots.

        • 0 avatar

          @heavy handle

          I hate to correct you with facts, but the US and Canadian bail outs had lots of strings attached. Those string either have or are about to expire. You may expect them to continue in perpetuity, but they don’t.

  • avatar

    Ironically …..No , Jerry , has never worked in auto manufacturing . Jerry came from De Havilland Aircraft .

  • avatar

    That guy has the single most rectangular head I have ever seen. I wonder if his hats have right angles in them.

  • avatar

    Canadians have not been kind to GM since the bail out. Ford has been outselling GM in Canada since 2010 and FCA since 2012. Mustang has been outselling Camaro by more than 2 to 1 since 2012 and is now up to 3 to 1.
    If things get any worse for Oshawa, I would bet all of Canada would punish GM even further.

  • avatar

    So “GM” will now be known as “CM”.
    They will save half a penny by removing a bit of line from the G on each seat belt logo, so since the change will contribute to the bottom line, it’ll be approved at the next meeting of the corporate bean counters.

  • avatar
    Trucky McTruckface

    “Throw shade” is one of the most painfully lame expressions I have ever heard, yet every tryhard internet journalist insists on using it to show how edgy and snarky they are.

    This isn’t even the first time I saw this on a car site today; I just saw it on an Autoblog headline about five minutes earlier.

    Come on guys, you’re better than that. I guess I should just be happy this place is still free of sponsored content and lists where I won’t believe #3.

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