Cami asks GM for new work to avoid strike
Talks between General Motors Co. and Unifor on a new labour agreement for workers at Cami Automotive Inc. in Ingersoll, Ont., are expected to go down to the wire ahead of a strike deadline late Sunday.
About 2,500 workers at the plant assemble the Chevrolet Equinox crossover. Demand for the Equinox and its twin, the GMC Terrain, have kept the plant operating three shifts a day, six days a week for the past several years and made it one of the auto maker’s most productive and profitable factories.
But GM’s shift in production of the Terrain to Mexico this summer led to the loss of 600 jobs at the plant and anger and unease among remaining workers.
Unifor president Jerry Dias has said that workers will go on strike unless GM earmarks another vehicle for the plant to replace Terrain.
A strike would choke off production of one of GM’s hottestselling vehicles in one of the fastest-growing segments of the market. Equinox sales soared 85 per cent in the U.S. market last month and jumped 33 per cent in Canada.
Talks on the new contract come one year after Unifor won a commitment from GM that it would keep a plant in Oshawa, Ont., open in part by shipping unfinished pickup-truck bodies to that plant from Indiana. Workers in Oshawa would install interiors and perform final assembly of the vehicles.
The contract for Cami workers has always been separate from the other labour agreements Unifor has with the Detroit Big Three auto makers.
Although it is a separate labour deal, Cami contracts have traditionally fit into what is known as pattern bargaining, where an agreement with one company sets the pattern for all Unifor-represented auto makers. NEXT Canada is pleased to announce that Sheldon Levy will join the organization as CEO on October 30, 2017. Sheldon is currently the Deputy Minister of the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development. Previously, he served as the President and Vice Chancellor of Ryerson University, and was instrumental in launching the DMZ, a top global startup accelerator. NEXT Canada is a national non-profit focused on fostering the next generation of Canadian entrepreneurs. Over 300 entrepreneurs have participated in NEXT Canada’s programs, launching over 80 companies, collectively raising over $250 million in funding, and creating over 800 jobs.