Strike at GM'S CAMI Plant in Ontario Looks Imminent
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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