GM DEAL AVERTS STRIKE AND "TURNS TIDE OF WHAT'S TRANSPIRED IN THE CANADIAN AUTO INDUSTRY"

Sep 20, 2016

By Jane Brown

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Ontario GM workers can report to work as usual today, thanks to a tentative contract reached early this morning between representatives with the automaker and Unifor that averted a possible strike.

The four-year pact covers about four-thousand workers in Oshawa, St. Catharines and Woodstock and includes wage increases, signing bonuses and lump sum payments.

“Today’s announcement really turns the tide of what has transpired in the auto industry in this country for over a decade,” said Unifor President Jerry Dias shortly after the tentative deal was reached.

There had been fears the Oshawa facility might shut down in 2019, but Dias says the contract ensures a commitment by the company worth “hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Dias didn’t say what will be built in Oshawa beyond that year, but added it will be the “first and only plant in North America” that will have the ability to build both cars and trucks.

Dias also said the agreement will see unspecified production coming from Mexico to St. Catharines and secures investment for the GM parts distribution centre in Woodstock.

GM Canada said in a brief statement that it would be “working with government on potential support,” but did not offer any specifics.

A ratification vote for all GM workers in this province will be held on Sunday.

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