November 9, 2020
TORONTO—Unifor members at General Motors in St. Catharines, Oshawa and Woodstock have voted 85 per cent to ratify a new three-year collective agreement that includes significant investments, job security and economic gains.
“This contract solidifies and boldly builds on GM’s Canadian footprint, with a $1.3 billion dollar investment that brings 1,700 jobs to Oshawa plus more than $109 million to in-source new transmission work for the Corvette and support continued V8 engine production in St. Catharines,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.
“Jobs at all three Canadian sites are secure for the life of this agreement, including at the Woodstock Parts Distribution Centre, which will also see upgrades,” added Dias.
Oshawa will be the only GM plant capable of producing both light and heavy trucks, and St. Catharines will produce the engines for those pick-ups.
“After Ford and FCA, this amounts to a hat trick worth almost $5 billion dollars,” said Dias.
The Ford deal reached in September includes $1.95 billion in investments to bring battery electric vehicle production to Oakville and a new engine derivative to Windsor and the Fiat Chrysler agreement includes more than $1.5 billion in investment in a state-of-the-art platform to build both Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles and Battery Electric Vehicles.
All three contracts include support from both the federal and Ontario government.
“I want to thank both levels of government for supporting us. We went into bargaining in the middle of a pandemic, facing great uncertainty. Now we can proudly say these three contracts will breathe new life into Canada’s auto sector,” said Dias.
“I want to thank the members for their support because our solidarity proves that if we stick together, we are a powerful force and we can achieve gains and job security for all members,” said Tim McKinnon, Unifor’s GM Master Bargaining Committee Chair. “There is a future for the auto industry, and that future is ‘Made in Canada.’”
The new three year GM agreement follows a historic pattern setting deal first reached with Ford that includes five per cent increases to hourly rates, a $7,250 productivity and quality bonus, a total of $4,000 in inflation protection bonuses, improved benefits, shift premiums, and restoration of the 20 per cent wage differential for skilled trades.
In addition to several other gains in benefits, Unifor and GM have also agreed to create an anti-racism action plan, establish a new Racial Justice Advocate in the workplace, and the company will also provide up to 10 paid days of domestic violence leave.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.