Canadian workers union to resume talks with GM image

In a bid to come to an agreement on a new contract for about 2, 600 hourly workers at GM’s CAMI assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario a Canadian local union will resume talks with the company this week.

Local President Dan Borthwick of Unifor Local 88, formerly known as Canadian Auto Workers Local 88, said formal negotiations with GM will begin Sunday and that the union has scheduled a ratification vote on Sept. 15. The current contract expires at 11:59 p.m. Sept. 16.

“We want to improve the conditions both in the plant and economically for our members,” Borthwick said in an interview. Borthwick said it’s unclear whether Unifor 88 will end up with a three- or four-year contract.

GM Canada spokeswoman Adria MacKenzie said “We are optimistic that we can work with our CAW partners to overcome challenges together and find creative solutions to ensure we are competitive. There is still more work to be done to enhance the competitiveness of our Canadian operations and we will continue to work with the CAW to identify opportunities to improve.”

Last fall, the former CAW reached a four-year agreement to cover more than 5,600 hourly GM workers at Oshawa Assembly Plant, St. Catharines Powertrain Plant and a parts distribution center in Woodstock, Ontario. Those workers received a ratification bonus of 3,000 Canadian dollars and will get annual CA$2,000 lump-sum payments in the final three years of the contract. GM also will create or retain 1,750 jobs and spend $675 million at its Oshawa and St. Catharines plants.