Unifor-GM Deal Saves Ontario Plant, Sacrifices Pensions

September 23, 2016
By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

Toronto, Ontario—Unifor and General Motors announced a tentative contract deal late Sept. 19 in which the company promised to continue production at its Oshawa plant—and the union agreed to give up defined-benefit pensions for future workers, putting them in a defined-contribution plan instead. The proposal would cover about 3,900 workers at GM’s Oshawa and St. Catharines factories.

“This framework puts into motion what will be a historic agreement to secure a future for our members, for our communities, and for the auto industry in Canada,” Unifor National President Jerry Dias said in a statement. He told the Detroit Free Press that GM had made a commitment to invest “hundreds of millions of dollars” in retooling the Oshawa plant so it can build a new car or truck there. “Therefore, our fear of a closure in 2019 is now over.” Unifor, which represents about 23,500 workers at Detroit Three automakers’ plants in Canada, said it picked GM as the target company to set a pattern in its negotiations with Ford and Fiat-Chrysler. Ratification votes are scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 25. Read more

September 22, 2016

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