Economy

General Motors reaches tentative deal with striking Canada workers

After a month on the pickets lines, workers at Ingersoll's CAMI plant may be heading back to work after a tentative agreement was reached between the employees union and General Motors.

Some 2,500 workers at the CAMI plant in Ingersoll, in southern Ontario, walked off the job on September 18 after the US automaker rejected a union call to designate the factory as lead production site for the Chevrolet Equinox model in North America.

"These members have shown incredible courage and strength by standing up for good jobs and a secure future for their families and their community".

The dispute comes at a sensitive time, as the United States, Canada and Mexico hold tense negotiations to modernize the decades-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), with all three countries fighting to safeguard their economies.

In a statement released by Unifor, details of the agreement will not be released until Saturday morning after they've been finalized.

The vote is scheduled for Monday at 10 a.m.at the Western Fair grounds in London.

Contract talks at GM's CAMI plant in Ontario, which stalled over job security and sparked the first strike at a Canadian assembly plant since 1996, have idled production of GM's popular Equinox sport utility vehicle.

The union had blamed NAFTA and Mexico's cheaper labor costs for job losses.

Hundreds of layoffs took place this year after GM moved the production of the GMC Terrain from CAMI to Mexico.

Unifor president Jerry Dias accused the company on Thursday of declaring war on the Ingersoll workers, but the company said it had little choice but to look at alternatives for the strikebound Ontario plant.

On Thursday, Dias complained about GM adding plants in Mexico while closing facilities in Canada and the USA and accused the automaker of exploiting lower-paid Mexican workers.



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