It came down to the wire, but a tentative deal between General Motors and Canadian union Unifor was reached before the midnight deadline.
“Did we achieve our objective? I would suggest the answer is clearly yes,” said Unifor President Jerry Dias during a press conference this morning.
“We have found a solution for your facilities. To say this is a difficult set of negotiations is an incredible understatement."
In a statement released by GM, the tentative agreement will bring wage increases to the 3,860 workers and introduce new investments and products to the Oshawa and St. Catharines plants. Oshawa was a key focus for Unifor as GM didn't have any plans for the plant after 2018.
For St. Catharines, GM will move some engine production from Mexico to the plant. A source tells The Detroit News the plant will also continue building the 3.6L V6 and add some transmission work. Oshawa was the big winner as GM will be investing millions into the plant to make it the only GM plant that will build cars and trucks. GM and Unifor aren't saying what the products will be.
“It’s a total win for Jerry Dias and Unifor. They got everything they were looking to get going into the talks; every box right now is checked,” said Tony Faria, professor emeritus, office of automotive and vehicle research at the University of Windsor’s Odette School of Business.
General Motors of Canada Media Statement
OSHAWA, ON, September 20, 2016 — General Motors of Canada and Unifor have reached a tentative new collective agreement, covering approximately 3,860 represented employees at just after midnight on September 20th 2016. The agreement will enable significant new product, technology and process investments at GM’s Oshawa, St. Catharines and Woodstock facilities, placing those operations at the forefront of advanced manufacturing flexibility, innovation and environmental sustainability. This agreement is subject to member ratification. We will be working with government on potential support, and will provide further details on the investment at the appropriate time, while respecting Unifor’s ratification process.