Canadian Auto Workers Vote to Strike GM, Ford, FCA

About 17,000 Canadian auto workers represented by Unifor today voted in favour of a strike should negotiations with Detroit’s Big Three fail three weeks from now.

A strike was authorized by 98.4 percent of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, 96.4 percent of Ford workers and 95.3 percent of those at General Motors.

Unifor president Jerry Dias and other union leaders began talks with management on August 12 looking for a new four-year contract to replace the one that expires on September 21 at 11:59 pm.

Unifor wants major investments from the three automakers following the plant closures and job cuts that were announced in recent years, most notably the end of vehicle production at GM’s Oshawa plant in 2019.

Photo: General Motors

The last strike by auto workers in Canada occurred in 2017 and hit GM’s CAMI assembly plant in Ingersoll. Last year, U.S. workers represented by the UAW also went on a strike—the longest at GM in 50 years.

This time, with the economy reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, the stakes are even higher. In an interview with Automotive News Canada, Dias said Unifor members “understand that we’re in for the fight of our lives.”

More specifically, the negotiations centre around three vehicle assembly plants including Oakville (Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus), Brampton (Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Challenger) and Windsor (Chrysler Pacifica and Grand Caravan), as well as GM’s St. Catharines propulsion plant and converted stamping facility in Oshawa. A test track for autonomous and connected vehicles along with a parts plant will also be built there.

Unifor will seek to maintain jobs in Oakville amid growing rumours that Ford will either end or relocate Edge production when the current generation comes to a halt.

Share on Facebook

More on the subject

NewsGM Ramps up Full-size Pickup Production to Meet Demand
Demand for full-size pickups is even stronger than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic hit North America and production sites were forced to close for two months. In some parts of the U.S. and Canada, customers must wait an unusually long period of time to receive their orders. In order …
NewsCOVID-19: GM’s Oshawa Plant to Make Face Masks
General Motors of Canada has just announced that parts of its Oshawa assembly plant in Ontario will be used to make face masks in order to meet the urgent need across the country, particularly for health care professionals. These masks will be identical to those already being manufactured by the …
NewsFord's Oakville Assembly Plant May Close in 2023
There is growing speculation across the industry that Ford might close its assembly plant in Oakville, Ontario three years from now. Unifor National President Jerry Dias communicated with Ford officials this week and told The Detroit News that “they are going through a major evaluation of their portfolio, based on …
NewsFCA Has 1,300 Buyout Packages Planned for Windsor Employees
Fiat-Chrysler’s (FCA) Windsor Assembly Plant in Ontario re-opened on May 19 with new health and safety protocols in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. And today three-shift production resumed but only for the next three weeks. According to a report by the Windsor Star , the third shift will be …
NewsGM, Honda Create Auto Alliance in North America; What Next?
General Motors and Honda have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding following extensive preliminary discussions toward establishing a North American automotive alliance, the two automakers announced today. The goal of said alliance is to cooperate in purchasing, research, development and connected services while designing a range of vehicles to be …
NewsFord Avoids Strike, Promises 5 EV Models to be Built in Oakville
Ford and Unifor, which represents thousands of auto workers in Canada, have just reached a tentative deal on a new three-year collective bargaining agreement that affects more than 5,400 unionized workers in the country. As a result, the automaker avoided a strike that could have been launched as early as …
NewsUS Auto Workers' Union Launches Historic Strike on Detroit's 'Big Three'
The US auto workers' union launched a targeted strike at three factories just after midnight on Friday, ordering simultaneous stoppages at Detroit's "Big Three" for the first time. The dramatic walkout -- marked outside a Detroit-area Ford plant with rowdy honking and cheers at the arrival of the United Auto …