Union Strikes At Chevrolet Equinox Assembly Plant

Unifor members at the General Motors auto assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ont., went on strike at 11 p.m. ET Sunday after the union failed to reach a tentative agreement with the vehicle maker.

The members of Unifor local 88 walked out Sunday at 10:59 p.m. when negotiators for the union and the automaker failed to come to terms on a new contract agreement.

This is the first strike at a Canadian assembly plant since 1996 when Unifor's forerunner, the Canadian Auto Workers, held a three-week walkout at GM.

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

GM moved production of the GMC Terrain from the plant to Mexico earlier this year, Bloomberg said. The decision led to 600 layoffs.

Nearly 3,000 workers at a GM manufacturing plant in Ontario walked off the job on Sunday over concerns about the future of their jobs.

Unifor wants GM to designate the facility as the lead producer for the Equinox, which is now manufactured in Canada and Mexico, according to Bloomberg.

Workers at the General Motors Cami Assembly plant in Ontario say they want a resolution to the contract impasse that has them on the picket line this week.

The Unifor union blames the move of the Terrain to San Luis Potosi, Mexico, from Ingersoll on NAFTA, which has created more favorable production costs for GM. It also previously made the Terrain, but production of that is now taking place in Mexico.

In an effort to bring an end to the GM strike, the automotive company is seeking to resume negotiations with Unifor.

Dias has emerged as the face for labor during renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement, pushing for higher working standards in both the US and Mexico. American G.M. dealers have enough Equinoxes in stock to cover 53 days of sales compared with an average of 82 days for all other Chevrolet models, according to the trade publication.

"While General Motors of Canada and our Unifor partners have made very positive progress on several issues over the past weeks, the Company is disappointed that we were not able to complete a new agreement", the statement said. That means its workers are not covered by the union agreement that Unifor reached with G.M. a year ago for its other Canadian plants.

"This is one of GM's most profitable plants", Dias said. Smaller numbers of Equinox were assembled at two plants in Mexico.

  • Jon Douglas