GM Federal Elections

GM Chair Report Tim McKinnon sq
October 2015

Please Vote October 19th 2015

Personally, I believe that everyone should vote, because everyone is entitled to their own opinion and you have a right to shape the political landscape you feel is best. We should value our ability to choose who is in office. We can have a say in what goes on in the political world and how it will affect the future of Labour laws, Auto jobs, EI, Health Care, Pensions and Education just to name a few . If you don’t vote, you lose your voice in determining the future landscape in Canadian politics. YOUR vote does matter.

Automotive Industry

UAW Contract Negotiations Fail

  • Auto workers have overwhelmingly voted down their union’s national deal with Chrysler, aiming to force their bargainers back to the table to do better.
  • The United Auto Workers announced that 65 percent voted no on the tentative agreement. The union represents 40,000 workers at Chrysler.
  • Almost certainly the top reason workers voted NO was resentment that the agreement broke the union’s longstanding promise to cap the lower-paid tier at 25 percent of the workforce. Since 45 percent of Chrysler workers are in Tier 2, many expected to get a raise to $28 an hour. (UAW top rate). It included raises and bonuses but would maintain the two-tier system, trap people in Tier 2 who had expected to move up, and create even more tiers.
  • With no cap, it’s only a matter of time before there’s no first tier left.
  • The Company’s plan to move all car production to Mexico replacing them with Trucks and other large gas guzzling vehicles was also a key factor in the NO vote.
  • The UAW will meet to look at whether it should try to renegotiate a contract with Fiat Chrysler before making a decision to move on to General Motors or Ford to reach a deal.
  • UAW President Dennis Williams told local elected union officials that he’ll contact Chrysler and request a meeting to discuss the list of 13 issues that union members identified as stumbling blocks to reaching a new master agreement.


Where each of the parties stands with regards to TPP now that there is an agreement in principal.

Note: The auto terms of the TPP are very close to the original (secret) US-Japan deal that came to light in Maui. Vehicles will be tariff-free with just 45% TPP-made content. Most of the car could be made in China, yet still come into Canada tariff-free. This represents a huge “back door” for tariff-free access to Canada’s market for China and other non-TPP countries, with nothing for Canada in return.


Harper has stated that the TPP is crucial to Canada’s economic future, and that the historic deal protects Canadian jobs today and creates more, but it won’t please everyone. Harper acknowledged that the auto industry may not like the agreement. But the compromise required to reach the deal means that aspects of the North American Free Trade Agreement pertaining to the auto sector will change. Conservative Leader Stephen Harper says the terms of a finalized Trans-Pacific Partnership will be made public, but said the final decision ultimately rests with Parliament.


The Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau has also stated throughout the campaign that he is strongly in favour of free trade in general and the TPP in particular, but has also supported supply management. It is the responsibility of the government of Canada to be an actively engaged negotiating partner to get Canada into the first round (of TPP), while defending Canadian interests. Trudeau believes the Conservatives have been too secretive about what was being negotiated.


On a procedural basis the party has attacked the lack of transparency surrounding the TPP negotiations.

NDP leader Tom Mulcair is also challenging Harper’s democratic right to make big TPP concessions during an election campaign (when the government is supposed to be in “caretaker” mode) indicating that an NDP government would not be “bound” by what he signs in Atlanta.


The Green Party fully opposes the TPP, and has held to that position since the beginning of 2014, when they first began expressing concern about the lack of transparency in the TPP negotiations.

The Green Party has staunchly opposed the TPP’s provisions that end government funding of Crown corporations.

Note: All 3 NAFTA countries (Canada, the U.S., and Mexico) would be in the TPP, this would effectively replace NAFTA with the TPP. This is much more than just “another trade deal” as the Government stated in the press earlier. Japan and the U.S. have never said “we must sign the deal or else.” It’s only our Government saying that. UNIFOR Bargaining and other Union Initiatives

On October 1, 2015 the Top Leadership of the Detroit 3 met with the National Union in London to discuss and identify key issues as we start preparing for the 2016 Negotiations.

Key among these issues at the National level for our members in St Catharines are: Investment needs, New Hires, Pensions and Wages.

I cannot go into great detail as these discussions are not for Company consumption. Prior to Bargaining we will issue demand sheets to gather vital input from our members as to their demands/ideas for both Master and Local talks moving forward leading up to this set of negotiations.

Labour Law Reform & the UNIFOR Ontario Regional Council (ORC)

We have been working for months on a number of recommendations for submission to the Government review panel on Labour Law Reform in Ontario as Ontario’s Labour market has worsened dramatically over the last 20 years and urgently needs updating.

We are preparing a comprehensive written submission that will be submitted by our national union, that will contain an in depth argument of the negative consequences of precarious work and other harmful Labour practices. We have compiled specific proposals that address a host of outdated Labour laws. As this opportunity only comes around every 20 years or so, it is imperative we be successful in our efforts.

New minimum standards are the starting point in our effort to improve workplaces and develop innovative practices to help solve problems in everyday work life. Both union members and non-union workers will benefit from new Labour laws and collective bargaining procedures that offer a more reasonable prospect for workers to build and use their collective voice.

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