By on September 18, 2017

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Unionized employees at General Motors’ CAMI Assembly in Ingersoll, Ontario, are on strike. Unifor Local 88 and General Motors were unable to reach an agreement by Sunday’s deadline. At 11:00 p.m. ET, workers at the plant traded the assembly line for the picket one, ending production of the recently redesigned Chevrolet Equinox.

Despite both sides having spent the weekend saying they were making headway in talks, it wasn’t enough to avoid the shutdown. In a post-strike statement, General Motors reiterated this fact.

“While General Motors of Canada and our Unifor partners have made very positive progress on several issues over the past weeks, the company is disappointed that we were not able to complete a new agreement. We encourage Unifor to resume negotiations and to continue working together to secure a competitive agreement,” said GM.

Unifor members at CAMI operate under a different contract than workers at other GM assembly and parts plants in Canada, meaning they weren’t part of last year’s negotiations.

The union’s demands include improved wages, additional benefits, and new product to offset Mexico’s picking up production of the GMC Terrain — which CAMI used to produce alongside the Chevy Equinox until this year. GM had hoped that, by shifting some of its D2XX SUV assembly out of Canada, it could convince its Ingersoll workforce to improve production of the very popular Equinox. However, the shift did not go over well with employees.

As a result, Unifor is seeking a formal commitment from GM that Equinox production will remain in Canada. The automaker spent over $500 million to retool the Ingersoll factory for the current Equinox, though the crossover is also assembled in smaller numbers at two plants in Mexico.

The union issued a statement to workers late Sunday: “Your master bargaining committee has not been successful in securing a tentative agreement with the company. The membership of Unifor Local 88 working at the GM CAMI assembly plant will be on strike at 10:59 pm tonight, Sunday, September 17, 2017.”

Stalling production will affect more than just the CAMI plant. Other operations, including an engine and transmission plant in St. Catharines, Ontario, that supplies powertrains to Ingersoll, will be hampered as a result of the strike. As well, numerous component suppliers will be forced to scale back volume if CAMI remains idled for too long.

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21 Comments on “Chevrolet Equinox Production Shut Down as Workers Go on Strike...”


  • avatar
    ash78

    4 days shy of the actual equinox. Intradasting.

    Any solstice news? I’m hoping for something by December.

  • avatar
    mikey

    As I understand it, the compensation package is all put to bed…The big issue is securing product allocation, for at least the life of the contract.

    If shutting the place down, is already etched in stone, the workers have nothing to lose…I have a bad feeling about this one..I’m hoping to see a tentative agreement by the end of the week….I’m not sure how strong the solidarity is. This could get long and ugly.

    The decision to not settle, comes from the Mary Barra’s office. As such, me thinks that GM has a plan ?

    I wish nothing but the best of luck, to my former brothers and sisters.

    Mikey…(GM hourly retired)

  • avatar
    mason

    Does anybody have an idea of what these employees wages are and how they relate to the surrounding communities? I’m guessing they’re already at the upper end of the pay scale compared to other local manufacturing.
    Look, I’m all for more money as much as the next guy but in reality these strikes are mostly addressing first world problems. Refusing to work when your at the top of the automotive food chain isn’t a good look when your competing on a global scale with 2nd and borderline 3rd world economies.

  • avatar
    volvo

    I feel sorry for the workers caught between the union and GM. In the end I think GM has a number of options while the union has only one which they have exercised.

    While wages are always highlighted I have read in the past that the main concern of the auto producers is not wages but hiring/firing and work rules that are part of the union contract.

    I imagine contract obligations precludes GM from shifting production to a US “right to work state” but Mexico remains an option. The Equinox (Chevrolet/Canada) and the Terrain (GMC/Mexico) are mechanically pretty much identical. Over a product cycle (if union demands become too onerous) the Equinox could be phased out or production moved and Terrain production increased since they are both under the GM umbrella.

    The UAW and UAW workers should look long and hard at the 20 year outcome of union actions on Caterpillar and Peoria Il.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @volvo..”.Hiring/firing and work rules”…That train left the station in the 2008 -2010 era. Flexible work rules, job classification, etc, was one of the first of many concessions we agreed to in 2008.

      • 0 avatar
        volvo

        @ mikey

        I am not familiar with details of current UAW contracts but I was able to source the November 2015 UAW-Ford contract from the UAW website.

        The approved contract is 2168 pages long and covers many employment, job classification and other work rules in addition to Wages, Pensions and Benefits.

        The contract summary provided is 28 pages long and is available on the UAW site.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          28 Pages Later and it will all become clear.

        • 0 avatar
          mikey

          @volvo ..Yes indeed work rules still exist ..More so for the skilled trades.

          If the 2015 Ford-UAW contract is 2168 long , then the 1996 deal would be twice as big.

          I last punched the clock in December 2008..The work rules were changing at that time.

          Management wanted more flexibility. We gave them more flexibility

  • avatar
    mikey

    The rank and file, in term of wages and benefits at Cami are 15-20 percent behind the folks in Oshawa..The first tier workers can make 75 to 90 K with overtime..Straight time with no down weeks ? More like 60K

    The former “gold plated” benefit plan was watered down, back in 2008-9..GM ‘s defined benefit pension obligations are shrinking by the day…No such thing as a DB pension for any new employee, hourly or salary.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “The rank and file, in term of wages and benefits at Cami are 15-20 percent behind the folks in Oshawa.”

      Other than, because we can screw you folks at Cami, why is this the case? Why would wages vary from plant to plant? Most corporations use a standard req for a job title with a wide range for all locations, but some will tweak the req to make it location specific. For something like GM Canada, esp Unifor represented GM Canada, I would think it would just be uniform through the few facilities left.

    • 0 avatar
      I_like_stuff

      $90K a year to do work that requires no education. Incredible. And on top of it all they make a garbage product and then threaten to strike every few years.

      And people wonder why everything is made in China these days? LOL.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @I_like_stuff. You are certainly entitled to your opinion..I respectively disagree.

        Just to second the record straight. The UAW/UNIFOR/ former CAW does not build vehicles..The unions merely represent the workers.

        I mentioned this before ,but it bears repeating..In a modern manufacturing system the individual worker has a minimum input in respect to the quality of the final finished product.

      • 0 avatar
        mason

        I work in the mtce dept at a TIO2 manufacturing facility. It is a hard place to get into. Every maintenance employee has many years experience in other fields, most were either pipe welders/fitters, boilermakers, large (200 ton and up) crane operators, or iron workers. Skilled tradesman that could go anywhere in the country and find work. The plant operators on the other hand often come in with little to no prior experience and only require a high school diploma. And yet they can not understand why their wages are lower than ours and are now opining for a union. Both departments have the same Insurance, matching 401k and company sponsored pension which are all excellent. Their wages are also significantly higher than anywhere else within a 75 mile radius that requires the same skill sets (none). While I concede their position requires attention to detail bringing in a union will do nothing to help them in the wage dept. The company already takes care of them better than most with a degree or skilled trade could ever hope for, and yet they are shitting on their own front porch. Talk about a false sense of entitlement. And it’s happening everywhere.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    GM has invested half a billion dollars into the Ingersoll plant. If that’s not a sign of commitment, what is?

  • avatar
    abitolder

    The saddest thing is that for the last few years these workers have provided a quality product to the company, given up their weekends by working extra to keep production going ( sure they were compensated, but it does take a toll on family life ) and now GM does not give a care where to send future product. Mary sits there making $22 million a year thinking about these things I am sure!

  • avatar
    FOG

    There is way too much stupid on both sides of this issue. I used to think it was Union corruption and greed, now I see that it is stupidity, corruption, greed, and belligerence at a level unrivaled in history – ON ALL SIDES!

  • avatar
    I_like_stuff

    Shut it down and move it to Alabama or Mexico.

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    A strike?! That’s one bad mamma jamma

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