Unifor Ratifies GM Labor Agreement, Oshawa Saved

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
unifor ratifies gm labor agreement oshawa saved

Unifor members overwhelmingly ratified a new three-year contract with General Motors, effectively ending the union’s 2020 auto bargaining with Detroit automakers. Members backed the contract with 85 percent approval and secured meaningful investments into Canada’s automotive industry, including the $1 billion (USD) investment that saves Oshawa Assembly. It’s an important victory for the union and the Canadian auto workers it represents.

“This contract solidifies and boldly builds on GM’s Canadian footprint, with a $1.3 billion dollar investment that brings 1,700 jobs to Oshawa plus more than $109 million to in-source new transmission work for the Corvette and support continued V8 engine production in St. Catharines,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “Jobs at all three Canadian sites are secure for the life of this agreement, including at the Woodstock Parts Distribution Centre, which will also see upgrades.”

Dias added that the agreement amounts to almost $5 billion (Canadian, along with all subsequent values) once Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ford Motor Co had been accounted for.

From Unifor:

The Ford deal reached in September includes $1.95 billion in investments to bring battery electric vehicle production to Oakville and a new engine derivative to Windsor and the Fiat Chrysler agreement includes more than $1.5 billion in investment in a state-of-the-art platform to build both Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles and Battery Electric Vehicles.

All three contracts include support from both the federal and Ontario government.

General Motors had already confirmed that it would immediately begin investing into the Oshawa plant to manufacturer Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups after it had received government support — which seems all but guaranteed. The Ontario government signaled it was already prepared on Monday and was waiting on the federal government to make a move.

Meanwhile, the St. Catharines powertrain factory will receive $84 million in investments under the agreement. It’s going to remain responsible for engine production (V6s and V8s) while also doing transmissions for the Chevrolet Corvette. The latter program will take several months to setup and will reportedly begin the necessary retooling ASAP.

The new three year agreement also includes 5 percent increases to hourly rates, a $7,250 productivity and quality bonus, $4,000 in inflation protection bonuses, new shift premiums, improved benefits, and a reintroduction of the 20 percent wage differential for skilled trades. Unifor also convinced GM to establish an anti-racism action plan, which includes hiring what it referenced as Racial Justice Advocates, and providing employees with up to 10 paid days of domestic violence leave.

[Image: BobNoah/Shutterstock]

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  • Mikey Mikey on Nov 11, 2020

    Thank you.... Yeah, I'm still here I lurk more than I post.. The rumour mill was all over this a month ago. GM started recalling tradesmen in late summer. With only a handful 250-300 people keeping 3 -4 stamping presses running, it seemed odd to need more staff.. ? On a sunny day late October I took the Mustang out for an end of season cruise past the GM plant....Lots of vehicles in the parking lots ..? Several previously closed dock doors, wide open ?? More than a few hard hats walking around ? I figured something was up. Around these parts November sunny days are few and far between ...Good news from GM... is even more rare !!! Kudos to GM and UNIFOR !!!!.

  • Jeff Semenak Jeff Semenak on Nov 15, 2020

    Racial Justice Advocates? What the Holy Hell, does that plush feather-bedding have to do with building Cars and Trucks?

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