GM Employees in Canada Go On Strike Over Production Shifts to Mexico

GM Employees in Canada Go On Strike Over Production Shifts to Mexico

GM Employees in Canada Go On Strike Over Production Shifts to Mexico

The Unifor Local 88 union that represents employees at General Motors' CAMI Assembly Plant in Ingersoll, Ontario have authorized a strike.

Members of the Unifor union are seeking an agreement from GM.

The almost 3,000 workers at CAMI assemble the Equinox crossover vehicle.

Before GM ended production of the GMC Terrain at Ingersoll in August and moved output of the redesigned model to Mexico, the assembly plant 130 miles (209 km) northeast of Detroit would run three shifts and often with overtime.

The existing labor contract expired Sunday evening at 10:00 p.m., which is when the strike was authorized. "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". The vehicle maker had originally axed 625 jobs, but GM said Monday that number was reduced after retirements and buyouts.

Even as trade talks continue among Canada, the U.S, and Mexico regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, one of Canada's largest trade unions blames the deal for massive manufacturing job losses in Canada and ongoing threats to jobs in this country. "We encourage Unifor to resume negotiations and to continue working together to secure a competitive agreement", read a statement from the automaker.

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Shares of GM were inching higher during Monday morning trading.

It would be the first strike at Cami since 1992 and the first strike at a GM operation in Canada since 1995. The Terrain left, they moved it to Mexico.

Indeed, Automotive News cites just 53 days' supply for the Equinox as of September 1. USA sales have gained 17 percent to 185,223 units this year through August, while Canadian sales have jumped 40 percent to 16,956 units at the same time. The company said that in 2015 it invested 800 million Canadian dollars ($656 million U.S.) in the plant to build the new Equinox.

GM Canada said in a statement posted to its corporate website late Sunday that it is "disappointed" they were unable to reach a new agreement with workers.

Dias and other labor leaders in Canada, the USA and Mexico have been deeply involved in NAFTA renegotiations, which are set to resume in Ottawa on Saturday.

GM also builds the Equinox at its San Luis Potosi and Ramos Arizpe plants in Mexico, although it builds more of the crossovers in Canada.

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