Workers at General Motors Co.’s Canadian plants are going on strike, idling key factories in Ontario, after contract negotiations with the union representing about 4,300 employees failed to bring an agreement.
(Bloomberg) — Workers at General Motors Co.’s Canadian plants are going on strike, idling key factories in Ontario, after contract negotiations with the union representing about 4,300 employees failed to bring an agreement.
Unifor, which represents auto workers in Canada, had been trying to get GM to match a three-year deal it signed with Ford Motor Co. that includes wage increases, cost of living allowances and pension improvements. It had set a deadline of Monday at 11:59 p.m. Toronto time to get a deal.
The strike raises the pressure on GM, which has already been dealing since mid-September with US strikes by the United Auto Workers. The automaker gave an important concession last week, agreeing to bring battery-plant employees into the UAW’s fold, helping to ease that union’s concerns about the transition to electric vehicles.
Still, thousands of US workers at some GM assembly plants and parts distribution centers remain off the job as the UAW seeks to emerge from its strike with a wage increase of at least 30%, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. GM has offered 20%, along with other sweeteners.
Unlike the UAW, which hit all three Detroit automakers at once with targeted shutdowns, the Canadian union decided to stick with the traditional “pattern bargaining” approach. It first struck an agreement with Ford that will see base hourly wages rise 20% to 25% over three years, depending on the job, plus bonuses, according to a union statement. Unifor is now trying to get GM and Stellantis NV to meet those terms.
The Canadian talks cover workers at three GM facilities, including an assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario, that produces Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks and a powertrain plant in St. Catharines, Ontario, that serves factories in other countries.
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