Fiat Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors are all currently in negotiation with Unifor over their next contracts. It is the second contract since the 2008-2009 financial crisis when large concessions were made by the union, and the first since the auto sector has rebounded to record sales.
The main push from Unifor this time around is to get confirmed investments into maintaining and expanding Canadian production. This includes investment into keeping current models like the Dodge Challenger Hellcat built in Brampton, ON. They are also looking for guarantees of new product allocations. While Unifor represents more than 23,000 workers for the Detroit Three, the Canadian auto sector has lost more than 53,000 jobs in the last 15 years, and the new deal is an effort to stop or reverse that trend.
The current contracts expire on September 19th, and negotiations have been ongoing for some time. In anticipation of a worst-case scenario, or possibly to put some pressure on the Detroit Three automakers, a vote was held to authorize strike action if an agreement is not met by that deadline. It was an overwhelming strike mandate, as GM workers voted 97.1-percent in favour, Ford workers voted 98.9-percent, and workers at Fiat Chrysler voted 99.0-percent in favour of a strike.
The usual pattern for the contracts is for the union to negotiate a deal with one automaker, then take that same deal to the other two.
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