Unifor Says Reaches Tentative Labor Pact With GM, Averting Strike

Unifor Says Reaches Tentative Labor Pact With GM, Averting Strike

Good news for the province's auto industry and workers.

General Motors will invest close to $1.3 billion to reopen its storied Oshawa plant, which was shuttered in 2018, and heavy-duty trucks will begin rolling off the assembly line by 2022, according to a tentative agreement reached in the wee hours of Thursday with its major union Unifor.

Ford said it would build battery-electric vehicles in Oakville, Ontario while Fiat Chrysler pledged more than Can$1 billion to retool its Windsor, Ontario plant to make hybrid and plug-in vehicles.

The company says the deal would bring between $1 billion to $1.3 billion of new investment to Oshawa with the expected hiring of 1,400 to 1,700 hourly workers.

GM also will invest in its St. Catherine's propulsion plant and the Woodstock parts operation. The last auto assembled in Oshawa went off the line in December of 2019, and the facility has been a spare parts factory ever since.

Any proposed deal to come out of the negotiations would need to be approved by GM's 4,100 union members, who are scheduled to vote on Sunday.

The new as yet unknown pickup truck model would roll off the line starting in 2022.

A worker hangs a steel and aluminum door on a pickup truck at the General Motors plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The announcement came after the company reached a tentative contract agreement with Unifor. The U.S. automaker aims to start pickup production in Ontario in January 2022.

"These are General Motors' best selling vehicles", says Dias.

"That was an indication that the factory would be operational if there was a product for it", he said.

Barra said the facilities are now operating at full capacity on three shifts "building every vehicle possible".

GM was the final automaker Unifor had negotiated with. GM said a year ago the plant would become a part-stamping and autonomous vehicle testing facility.

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