GM Recalls Workers

Former St Cathainres Timed out active Oshawa/Woodstock Workers

A recall occurred in 2013 for our brothers and sisters with recall rights to our facility from Oshawa that wished to return. Having this accomplished the union leadership now turned its efforts to bringing home the last of our active brothers and sisters that had timed out from St Catharines. As they had gone time for time sadly they no longer had recall rights back home. A number missing the opportunity by mere weeks. The company was unrelenting in saying there was no way that these members would ever come back. Please remember most of these members were hired in 1988 and were laid off in the 2000 time frame.

There was an effort lead by our National President to get the last unresolved St Catharines members still active back home. Moving forward the company saw an opportunity to try and extract concessions from the union to return these members. We stood our ground on many occasions and would not allow any concessions in St Catharines to return these members.

With the support of the National union and the Master committee an agreement was finally reached on September 15, 2015 that will see our members finally be given an opportunity to transfer home. Bringing to a close a sad chapter in our local’s history due to job losses in St Catharines as a result of constant downsizing, loss of market share, foreign competition and lack of a Canadian Auto policy.

Key points of the MOU

  1. NO New members (SWEs) will be displaced as a result of this agreement.
  2. As a result of this agreement opportunities will become available based on identification of full-time non-skilled job opportunities.
  3. They will be given plant seniority based on date of entry. No previous time worked in St Catharines will be credited towards in-plant seniority. However they will return by corporate seniority in addition to retaining vacation, pay and benefit eligibility.
  4. This will not affect any previous agreements such as SWEs, LOC and the COA etc.
  5. The total number of Document 12 retirement opportunities being offered in OSHAWA will be reduced on a one-for-one basis for each member who accepts an opportunity to return to St Catharines.
  6. This agreement is without prejudice or precedent and any issues with this agreement will be handled by the National Union and Divisional Labour Relations.
  7. There will be a canvas in Oshawa and Woodstock to determine the number of former St Catharines members that wish to return. It is estimated the number will be approximately 50.

A copy of the MOU can been seen at the following link. MOU Agreement

GM Automotive Industry

General Motors must pay Federal fines of $935 million. Up to $625 million for victim compensation and More than $200 million to fix the cars and $575 million to settle many not all, of the pending lawsuits.

The known financial cost to General Motors for a deadly safety defect now exceeds $2.3 billion, or about $900 per recalled car, on top of whatever GM lost selling them in the first place.

UAW Contract Negotiations Fiat Chrysler Highlights

Pay, bonuses

  1. The economics of the plan call for two general wage increases of 3 percent: one at ratification and a second in September 2017 in addition to Profit-sharing improvements.
  2. Employees will also receive lump sum bonuses in 2016 and 2018 that are equal to 4 percent of pay, and all members will receive a ratification bonus of $3,000. Other bonuses are available for meeting improvement targets in quality and performance under FCA’s global manufacturing system.
  3. he agreement also raises the starting rate for new hires to $17 an hour and establishes a progression to $25.35 an hour, depending on seniority will increase compensation up to $25,000 for So-called Tier 2 employees. They will also be eligible to receive larger profit sharing payouts.
  4. Current retirees will get a $1000 car voucher.

Non-monetary highlights of the agreement:

  1. Significant alternative work schedule improvements, Bargainers won time-and-one-quarter pay for regular shift work that falls on Saturdays, and double time for work on Sundays and rotation improvements.
  2. The UAW says the agreement includes the restoration of a number of benefits.
  3. The ability to schedule vacation one day at a time, instead of in multi-day blocks.
  4. A new Health Care co-op that is designed to maintain quality benefits and control costs for employees and the company.

Note: On October 1st 2015 the Master committees for GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler will meet to go over the UAW agreement to aid in preparations for UNIFOR bargaining in September 2016.

Secrecy over TPP talks irks Unifor; Dias says – “trade deal key issue in federal election”

Dias stated “Beware because of this TPP agreement you, a family member, friend, and Canadians will be affected by this undemocratic secret agreement”. Harper told the Globe & Mail at the debate on the economy in Calgary that it’s essential to conclude the TPP pact despite what Harper says “will be Pain for automakers” and “the auto industry won’t like everything in Pacific trade deal”

Vacation pay Tax Issues tentative agreement

The Union and Company have come to a tentative agreement on the taxation for vacation pay. There will be a document handed out to our members when it is finalized.

Key points of the tentative agreement are as follows.

  1. Vacation pay calculations will no longer be taxed on the assumption that you are going to work 6 days a week for weeks 27 through and including week 53. This significantly reduces taxation however taxes will vary by individual.
  2. Deferring 80 hours vacation pay to the shutdown period. This means you will receive a lump sum and then be paid separately for the two weeks of shutdown. Even if you work these two weeks they will be paid out as vacation pay separately from your actual pay and taxed at the lower rate. Even if you work overtime the week before it will be taxed as a normal week and not lumped in. It will appear as a separate line item on your pay stub. This will also significantly reduce taxation as previously noted and will vary by individual.
  3. January 1st to April 1st you can book vacation “Weeks” for the remainder of the year and “if approved” the monies will be allocated and you will then receive vacation pay while off (pay as you go.) thus reducing your taxation even further. Vacation pay advance will still be in effect for the first 3 months of the year.
  4. The Christmas payout will be taxed at the same level as last year.
  5. The option of having less income tax withheld spread out over the year via TD-1 is still an option.

These alternatives should reduce the taxation of vacation pay to levels comparable to that of previous years.

Issued by, Tim McKinnon, GM Unit Chairperson
On behalf of the Bargaining Committee
Brian Chemnitz, Doug Wark, Ron Allen, & Paul Dortono.
UNIFOR Local 199