GM Canada Workers Approve New Collective Agreement

Three weeks after those at Ford, a majority of employees at General Motors in Canada (80.5 percent) have voted to ratify the tentative agreement between the automaker and the Unifor union.

“This agreement reflects true collective bargaining. Our goal was to bring more fairness and equity to auto workplaces and to lift everyone up. We did that,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. 

The new three-year collective agreement covers around 4,300 workers at GM’s Oshawa assembly plant, which builds Chevrolet Silverado pickups, St. Catharines powertrain plant and Woodstock parts distribution centre—all in Ontario. The CAMI factory in Ingersoll, where GM makes BrightDrop electric vans, is unaffected as its 1,500 workers fall under a separate contract.

Photo: GM Canada

Terms of the agreement are similar to those of the deal between Ford and Unifor that was ratified on September 24.

More specifically, workers at GM will reach the top rate of pay after four years instead of eight. New employees with one and two years seniority will see their hourly pay increase by as much as 73 percent over the life of the agreement (from $25.75 to $44.52). Top-of-scale wages will increase by nearly 20 percent for production workers and 25 percent for Skilled Trades workers.

The agreement also includes a $10,000 bonus for full-time employees the reinstatement of a Cost of Living Allowance for the first time since 2008 and a new quarterly Universal Health Allowance for retirees. Furthermore, hundreds of temporary part-time workers will be converted to permanent full-time positions.

Photo: Unifor

The bad news for consumers is that Chevy Silverado prices are expected to increase substantially as a result.

“Together, we’ve secured a deal that recognizes the many contributions of our 4,200 represented team members through significant increases in wages, benefits and job security, while positioning GM Canada to remain competitive in the future,” said GM Canada President and Managing Director Marissa West.

Unifor will now turn its focus to Stellantis, which has an even larger workforce than Ford and GM in Canada (approx. 8,200 employees) with vehicle assembly plants in Brampton and Windsor, not to mention its future EV battery factory under construction in Windsor.

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