Job Security At the Heart Of CAMI Strike

Job Security At the Heart Of CAMI Strike

Job Security At the Heart Of CAMI Strike

Roughly a third of General Motors of Canada workers are on strike after a deal couldn't be reached by 11 p.m. between Unifor and G.M.

"We put our best foot forward, and we don't believe the company is serious about our membership's demands", Unifor Local 88 President Dan Borthwick said. The union, Unifor, wants a pledge that the remaining vehicle, the Equinox, won't be moved to another plant.

Earlier this year the production of the GMC Terrain was shifted from the CAMI Assembly plant to Mexico, as the production of the Chevrolet Equinox was expanded at the same plant.

- The strike's ripple effects are already being felt: GM Canada's plant in St. Catharines will shut down this week and Ingersoll supplier Autrans Corp. - which, located near the Cami plant, does some engine assembly - is already shut down. "They can't make a unilateral decision to take away the Terrain and lay off hundreds of people and be naive enough to think we won't have a reaction".

In an effort to bring an end to the GM strike, the automotive company is seeking to resume negotiations with Unifor.

"While General Motors of Canada and our Unifor partners have made very positive progress on several issues over the past weeks, the Company is disappointed that we were not able to complete a new agreement", GM said in a statement to Automotive News.

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It isn't clear if GM could quickly ramp up Equinox production in Mexico further to offset the loss of CAMI.

Dias has emerged as the face for labor during renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement, pushing for higher working standards in both the USA and Mexico.

"This is one of GM's most profitable plants", Dias said. GM agreed to invest C$554 million in its other Canadian operations, which include an assembly plant, an engine factory and a parts-distribution facility.

Mr. Dias, echoing President Trump to some extent, blames Mexican wages and employment standards for the lost jobs in Canada.

Inventories of the newly redesigned Equinox 5-passenger CUV closed August with a 61-days' supply, compared with 57 year-ago, according to WardsAuto data. For the year to date, Equinox sales are up 17% compared with the first eight months of 2016.

But Krebs noted that while concerns about moving production to Mexico have been an issue, Cami is likely to face competition for new products from plants in MI and OH that make passenger cars but could be retooled to make SUVs, such as the Equinox.

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