By on September 17, 2017

cami assembly factory

The workforce at General Motors’ Canadian sport-utility plant are threatening to strike unless a new labor deal is reached by Sunday night. Traditionally union deals close at the last minute but GM is cutting it exceptionally close this weekend.

Between now and 10:59 p.m. ET, the automaker needs to pen an agreement with Unifor Local 88, which represents about 2,450 employees at GM’s CAMI Assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario. The union has already conducted a final meeting for Sunday on how to direct union members on picketing strategies or how to apply for strike pay and benefits. Unifor also updated its website on Saturday to indicate a “fair and responsible agreement” did “not appear reachable” by Sunday’s deadline. 

CAMI is responsible for production of the Chevrolet Equinox and used to build the GMC Terrain, both of which have seen a noticeable uptick in sales this past year as consumer interests shifts away from small cars and toward sport utility vehicles. The Equinox had an exceptional summer, with August 2017 ending in 28,245 U.S. deliveries against 2016’s 15,273. Strong SUV demand has helped automakers weather the storm of lagging auto sales as the market slows down and losing production capabilities would be detrimental to GM’s final quarter.

General Motors has invested over $500 million in the Ingersoll plant in order to prepare for the new 2018 model year. High demand of Equinox has left CAMI struggling to meet demand. Earlier this year, General Motors shifted some of the SUV production to Mexico, laying some of its Canadian workforce off in the process while giving itself a potential plan B were Unifor to strike in the North.

Rumors have been stirring that GM is seeking to scale back Canadian production to focus more on the U.S. and Mexico. However, Sunday morning, the manufacturer released a statement saying that it would “work with our Union partners toward another innovative and mutually beneficial competitive agreement.”

[Image: General Motors]

 

 

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20 Comments on “Strike at GM’S CAMI Plant in Ontario Looks Imminent...”


  • avatar
    el scotto

    One of two things will happen: 1. GM sends ALL of the Equinox production to Mexico. 2. In fear of not making profits for this, or the next quarter, GM caves and give Unifor what they want. Past performance and corporate culture makes number 2 most likely. Don’t discount the MAGA factor: An American(mostly) company sends Canadian jobs to Mexico Optics.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Nice weather for a strike. Ontario’s enjoying a very comfortable late-summer.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Is that old Theta models? Since the née Equinox has been assembled for 9 months now in Mexico

  • avatar
    thebluegoat

    The Terrain hasn’t been made at Cami since the second week of July. All production of GMC Terrain is now in Mexico. The Equinox is split between Cami, two plants in Mexico and one in China as well.

  • avatar
    I_like_stuff

    Unions! What are they good for? Absolutely nothing. Say it again!

    • 0 avatar
      Prove Your Humanity 2+9=?

      Do you work an 40 hour week?
      That concept didn’t come from management’s warm and generous heart.

      • 0 avatar
        Silence

        Actually, it did. Henry Ford instituted 8 hour days and doubled pay without union intervention.

        • 0 avatar
          ash78

          And it works both ways…a lot of economists said we’d be working 15-20 hours a week by the year 1990 or 2000 thanks to tech innovations. But we (and management) are all a little to greedy for that. So 40-50 hours seems to be a happy medium for almost everyone involved.

          I credit unions for a lot, from weekends to basic worker protections, but a lot of that was destined to happen as the drunkenness from the industrial revolution wore off and we realized you can’t just burn people out if you want your company to succeed.

        • 0 avatar
          el scotto

          Ole Henry didn’t go to an eight hour, five dollar a day pay out of the goodness of his heart. Ford had turnover that was worse than fast-food joints today. 5$ a day led to lines at Ford’s employment office. The 5$ a day wasn’t constant thing either; production demands and Ford’s profitability made it widely variable. Henry Ford thought his employees were his “children”. Read about his Service Department and “The Battle at the Overpass. But please, feel free to snark about unions.

  • avatar
    Prove Your Humanity 2+9=?

    I will support the Unifor workers by not buying any GM vehicles while they are on strike.

    • 0 avatar
      thebluegoat

      Appreciate your support. We are officially on strike.

      • 0 avatar
        brettc

        Looks like CAMI is indeed on strike. I remember the days when they made the Sprint/Metro and it was continuous bad news but the plant is still in operation (unlike Navistar/International in Chatham)

        I hope they can get GM to agree to be the main assembly point for the Equinox. I’d like to check out an Equinox diesel when they show up on lots.

  • avatar
    hamish42

    I live in Ingersoll, Ontario. There about 12000 people here and almost everyone, in some capacity or other, depends on the 2400+ jobs at that plant. A strike will hit very hard. The very real chance although the union denies it (and strike action won’t reverse it) is that jobs are soon to be gone. And with it, the heart of this town. I wonder what will happen? It can’t be good.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    Unions are a necessary annoyance/evil.

    Even non-unionized workers benefit from the ‘floor’ set by their unionized counterparts, since the non-union workers can always threaten to unionize if their compensation or working conditions get too bad.

    The greed of CEOs is at historical highs (if we look at the ratio of what they make vs what they do)

  • avatar
    mikey

    This either an ancient photo, or it was staged poorly…Running shoes, and bare skin, working with unpainted metal ??? The safety requirements in the “body in white” operation are corporate wide.

    Kevlar sleeves have been mandatory since 1995..Steel toed boots was the rule, since i can remember..I can’t see if she is wearing safety glasses..If she is, they’re are not being worn properly.

    Depending on their record, both of those women would be subject to progressive discipline..If somebody higher up, like the shift manager, caught that, the supervisor would also find himself in $hit.

    • 0 avatar
      tomLU86

      Those women are fine.

      That is not a “Body in White” line. It is a door subassembly line.

      The doors of the car were removed after it was painted (they don’t waste paint on the inside of the doors), and put on a separate conveyor.

      There, the workers will install the door hardware (latch, windows, window motor, wire harness, weather strip, cover with door trim panel).

      The worker in the foreground appears to have the job of installing the weatherstrip, among other things.

      She is wearing gloves (required), which is to her benefit.

      Some assembly plants require workers in General Assembly to wear safety glasses, some do not.

      If she was working in the “Body” Shop, then yes, she would need Kevlar sleeves and Safety glasses. Both required.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        Yeah..I see it now… So the plant in the photo paints, then removes the door, for sub assembly ? We did that in Oshawa..However the door inner always had some evidence of paint..?

        I was a dock tech in stamping for nearly 12 years. The nearest press to me was a 100 yards away..My job didn’t require me to even touch stamped panels . I had mandatory safety boots (to this day I refuse to wear work boots ) . Reflective vest, long sleeves, safety glasses, with side guards, all mandatory…Any construction work around me and I wore a mandatory hard hat.

        Different plants, different rules. I get that .I do know that GM Oshawa wouldn’t let those girls away with that .

  • avatar
    ash78

    First the Cami plant, then the teddy factory, bodysuit warehouse, and thong maquiladora…it’s a slippery slope.

  • avatar
    xtoyota

    Why is it that workers at GM,Ford, and FCA all look like bums and workers at U.S. foreign factory’s have uniforms and look more professional ???

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    Meh, the number of GM vehicles on the road in this part of Canada (Vancouver) is miniscule. It’s hard to believe they were once such a corporate giant.


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