Worker strikes hit General Motors in Canada

General Motors (GM) is facing production stops at three facilities in Canada after a deadline to negotiate a new deal with unionized workers expired. The Canadian union, Unifor, set the deadline after earlier agreements with GM expired. Approximately 4,300 employees have gone on strike in response.

Unifor National President Lana Payne has criticized GM for falling short on pension demands, income supports for retired workers, and transitioning temporary workers into permanent, full-time jobs. The workers are seeking a deal similar to the one Ford employees received, but claim that GM is refusing to match that contract and wage increases of up to 25%.

Ford's offer included a wage hike, a productivity and quality bonus, increased monthly benefits, and a special allowance for transitioning to electric vehicle assembly facilities. GM claims to have presented Unifor with a record economic offer that recognizes the contributions of their team members, but there are still outstanding issues to be resolved.

The strike affects GM's Oshawa Assembly & Operations, St. Catharines Propulsion Plant, and Woodstock Parts Distribution Centre facilities. Unifor members from Locals 222, 199, and 636 will remain on strike until their demands are met.

Meanwhile, Unifor Local 88 members at the CAMI Assembly Plant in Ingersoll, Ontario are covered by a separate agreement and will continue operations.

The strike comes amidst a larger trend of strikes in the auto industry, with the United Auto Workers strike in the United States also having a significant impact on the economy.

GM has secured a $6 billion line of credit as the strike continues and has expressed a commitment to reaching a new collective agreement quickly.


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