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Canadian Auto Workers to Target GM After Ford Deal

The union represents about 4,300 workers at three GM facilities in Canada.

Lana Payne, Unifor national president speaks during a news conference, Aug. 29, 2023, in Toronto.
Lana Payne, Unifor national president speaks during a news conference, Aug. 29, 2023, in Toronto.
Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press via AP, File

DETROIT (AP) — Canadian auto workers say General Motors will be their next target after members ratified a new three-year labor contract with Ford.

Unifor, which represents about 4,300 workers at three GM facilities in Canada, said Monday it reached a strong deal with Ford and now will try to negotiate a pattern agreement with GM.

President Lana Payne said the union has a lot of bargaining leverage with GM because a factory in Oshawa, Ontario, is working around the clock to build profitable Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks.

"I don't expect this to be an easy round of talks, and I want to make sure our union is best positioned to move this pattern forward for the benefit of all members, active and retired," she said in a statement.

Workers at Ford of Canada ratified a new deal on Sunday that raises base hourly pay for production workers by almost 20% over three years, and by more than 25% for trade workers. It also gives permanent workers a $10,000 bonus and adds a cost-of-living adjustment, a mechanism that adjusts wages in line with inflation.

Ford described the pact as a 15% wage increase over the three year life of the agreement. But, according to the union, that figure doesn't include compounding of each annual increase or the initial cost-of-living increase, both of which should increase workers' actual pay.

So far Unifor has been able to avoid going on strike against any of the Detroit automakers, unlike its U.S. counterpart, the United Auto Workers. The UAW has been on strike for 11 days with targeted factory and warehouse shutdowns at GM, Ford and Stellantis, maker of Jeep, Chrysler, Ram and other vehicles.


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