Unifor, a major player in the union realm, has set the clock ticking on its negotiations with General Motors (GM). The deadline for the conclusion of their contract talks has been fixed at 11:59 p.m. on the 9th of October.
The spotlight returned to talks between the union and the U.S. automaker, following a pause initiated when workers at Ford Motor Co. of Canada needed to vote on a new contract. Now that the vote is successfully passed, negotiations resumed in earnest.
Discussions focus on approximately 4,300 workers spread across General Motors’ various facilities, including the St. Catharines Powertrain Plant, the Oshawa Assembly Complex, and finally the Woodstock Parts Distribution Centre.
Unifor is forecasting a similar outcome with its talks, using the contract agreement with Ford as a blueprint for its negotiations with GM and Stellantis. This method of applying familiar procedures to new situations is a common and often successful strategy in labor negotiations.
The deal brokered by Unifor with Ford is one to admire. It encompassed wage increases and a rafter of pension and employee benefit improvements. A unique aspect of the agreement was the introduction of special Electric Vehicle (EV) transition measures specifically for the benefit of workers at Ford’s assembly plant located in Oakville, Ontario. The cherry on the cake was the addition of two new paid holidays.
As Unifor approaches these upcoming talks, it carries the same tenacity and resolve it demonstrated during the Ford negotiations, aiming once again to secure the best possible outcome for its workers.