The strike at General Motors' CAMI Assembly plant, home of the Chevrolet Equinox has come to an end. Today, 86 percent of Unifor Local 88 members voted yes on a new 4-year contract. With the approval, workers will resume work at the plant beginning at 7 PM tonight for early start-up, with production beginning at 11 PM.
Here is what new 4-year contract include
- Stronger language around job security. Union said the new contract would make it more costly for GM to close down CAMI - $290 million vs. $190 million.
- If CAMI is shuttered, employees near retirement will still be able to get into a retirement program.
- Workers will get a 4 percent wage hike and $8,000 in lump-sum payments over the contract
- New hires on the production line will see an accelerated pace in terms of their wages increased to the max of $34.15 per hour
- A $6,000 performance bonus once the deal is ratified
"The ratification of a new 4-year agreement between GM Canada and Unifor Local 88 at CAMI Assembly is welcome news for our company, employees and the community. We have an outstanding new product at CAMI with the Chevrolet Equinox and I am confident that we will quickly pull together to continue to demonstrate to the world the outstanding productivity, innovation and quality that is synonymous with the CAMI workforce," said Steve Carlisle, President of GM Canada in a statement.
There is one thing missing from this contract, a written assurance that CAMI would be the lead producer of the Equinox. This was the major point of contention between the two during negoations.
It is clear that Unifor officials are not happy with this contract.
“The end result was not the result we were hoping for, it shows the true colors of GM,” Unifor Local 88 Chair Mike Van Boekel said in a statement to members.
Given these actions, our demand to protect the Equinox was not only fair and reasonable, it simply made sense. Our members had every reason to make this [lead producer] demand, and did everything to demonstrate it was a demand that deserved to be met. However, at the highest levels of General Motors corporate in Detroit, they coldly refused. As a result and after much internal discussion, we decided that we could not, in good conscience, ask for more economic sacrifice from you in this fight,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.
We have to wonder if GM's threat of ramping up Equinox production in Mexico issued last week was the turning point.
2017 CAMI / UNIFOR NEGOTIATIONS
The ratification of a new 4-year agreement between GM Canada and Unifor Local 88 at CAMI Assembly is welcome news for our company, employees and the community. We have an outstanding new product at CAMI with the Chevrolet Equinox and I am confident that we will quickly pull together to continue to demonstrate to the world the outstanding productivity, innovation and quality that is synonymous with the CAMI workforce.
I want to extend thanks to the local and national Unifor teams who have worked long hours together with the GM negotiating team these past many weeks. The negotiations process requires a great deal of straight talk, creative problem solving, and compromise to achieve a positive outcome for both the membership and the Company. Success is also achieved by remembering that we are here to serve our customers proudly and deliver the very best product and services to them.
Having grown up in Southwestern Ontario, the CAMI plant and the Oxford County community mean a great deal to me. The challenges of the past months have been hard on all of us but now it’s time to show the character of our region and our plant. With the recent $800 million investment at the CAMI plant and this agreement, it is up to each of us to demonstrate the unparalleled value we deliver as leaders within Canada’s auto sector. The employees at CAMI have created a culture of team involvement and continuous improvement resulting in numerous industry awards for vehicle quality and productivity. I am confident that by working as one team, that will continue for years to come.
President and Managing Director
General Motors Canada