Canadian autoworkers threaten to go on strike
CANADIAN autoworkers have voted to authorise a strike if contract talks with the big three US automanufacturers do not lead to new investments in Canadian assembly plants.
Unifor, which represents the 23,000 Canadian autoworkers who work for Ford, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors, set a September 19 deadline after the near-unanimous backing for a strike if the automakers don’t meet their demands.
Canadian plants have steadily lost jobs to Mexico during the past 25 years, and unless the negotiations produce investment commitments, the auto industry will continue to contract, according to Unifor.
The union specifically wants guarantees that GM will build new products at the company’s assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario; a commitment from Ford to build a new engine at its motor plant in Windsor, Ontario; and an investment by Fiat Chrysler at its plant in Brampton, Ontario.
The union believes that new investments by the three automakers – all of which have heavily invested in new factories in Mexico during the last decade and refurbished plants in the United States – would also create hundreds of spinoff jobs that would bolster the Canadian economy. –