Canadian auto workers, GM reach tentative contract agreement less than 24 hours after strike began

Canadian auto workers, GM reach tentative contract agreement less than 24 hours after strike began
A logo of the General Motors is seen in Hamtramck, Mich., on Jan. 27, 2020. Auto workers walked off the job at three General Motors facilities in Canada early Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2023, after failing to reach agreement with the automaker. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

General Motors and the union representing Canadian auto workers have reached a tentative contract agreement that could end a strike that began early Tuesday.

GM says in a prepared statement that work will resume at the company’s facilities Tuesday afternoon.

Lana Payne, president of the Unifor union, says that when faced with the strike, GM had no choice but to follow a pattern agreement reached with Ford.

The company says it reached the agreement around 1 p.m. Tuesday after workers went on strike just after midnight.

The new agreement covers about 4,300 autoworkers at GM’s assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario, a powertrain plant in St. Catharines, Ontario, and a parts distribution center in Woodstock, Ontario.

Payne said GM agreed to all items that it fought the union on such as pensions, retiree income and converting temporary workers into permanent employees during the agreement.

Unifor, represents more than 4,200 workers at the plants.

The workers struck at GM after Unifor workers ratified a new three-year labor contract with Ford late last month.

Payne said earlier that the union had a lot of bargaining leverage with GM because the factory in Oshawa, Ontario, is working around the clock to build profitable Chevrolet pickups. However, in her remarks to reporters she said “demographics,” presumably of an aging work force, were a major hurdle.

Workers at Ford of Canada ratified a new deal late last month that raises base hourly pay for production workers by almost 20% over three years.

Unifor is Canada’s largest private sector union, with 315,000 workers in many industries.

The Associated PressThe Associated Press

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