GM Chair Report June 2016

GM Chair Report June 2016

New hire Healthcare Benefits.

All GM new hires please note that your HC benefits cover a Prescription Drug plan, Out of Province accident or emergency coverage only. Before accessing any HC benefits please check with your Benefit reps Mark Roy or Tony Tyminski at 905-641-6444. Supplemental Work Force Employee (A5) Transfer Requests are now being honoured. For any further details, call your Committeeperson.

Sub & Unemployment

The only decent article that was brought forward in the recent Conservative budget is beginning January 1, 2016. Compassionate Care benefits will be extended to 26 weeks. This is excellent news for our members whose loved ones are terminally ill, and will help in being able to assist with the care of family members. Any New Hires/ SWEs who have surgery scheduled or are ill for a period of more than 7 days, please contact Greg Brady or Brad Isherwood about getting E.I. sick benefits or waiting periods for E.I. Some New Hires/ SWEs have questioned Parental leave, they can assist you with that also.

Reminder: you will need hours to qualify for E.I. benefits and put in a 2 week waiting period. Any questions regarding these issues, please get in contact with your EI Reps and they will gladly answer any questions. 905-641-6419.

Harassment and Respectful Work Environment

The General Motors Respectful Work Environment policy states “General Motors is committed to fostering a supportive and respectful work environment that ensures dignity for all of its employees and compliance with the GMCL Workplace and Harassment Policies” It is up to the company to provide a respectful work environment and it is the Union’s responsibility to make sure the company lives up to their policies and practices.

Pensions Update

Pension Plan Funded Level : We have just received the latest Actuarial report (Sept 1, 2014 valuation) The funded level of our pension plan has increased from 66% to 72%.This is mainly due to investment returns on the money in our pension plan.

The Economy Niagara’s unemployment is the worst in the province. St. Catharines’ youth unemployment is at 14%. The Conference Board of Canada gave the city a D for attracting and retaining skilled workers. St. Catharines was rated 134th of 201 best places to live in Canada by the survey conducted by the magazine Money Sense. Obviously, the reasons for the city’s economic woes and the solutions for success are complex and are being addressed according to local officials. It’s not all bad. The trending pattern shows that as a community we’re heading in the right direction, moving forward on key indicators like employment, affordability, safety and public transit. Other measuring sticks used by the magazine include; population growth, property taxes, average household net worth, crime rate, weather, percentage of vehicles 2012 model year or newer and percentage of luxury vehicles 2012 model year or newer. The good news is that St. Catharines isn’t the only Niagara municipality trending upwards. Both Niagara Falls and Welland have moved up over the last few years.

Canadian Auto trade outlook / The Government
Car CZAR for Ontario (Selection from an article by Peter Epp)

The fact that Ontario would appoint an auto industry czar speaks volumes of how quickly this province’s once-mighty auto industry has been diminished. Ray Tanguay, a former Toyota executive, was given the nod Tuesday. He’s tasked with bringing focus to Ontario’s efforts to not only secure the industry as it exists today, but to help ensure this province remains in the hunt. Michigan and Mexico have surpassed Ontario’s output, new investment is pouring into Mexico and several southern U.S. states. In 2014, Ontario produced 2.1 million vehicles, down substantially from the three million produced only a few years ago. Currently, our province is ranked 10th in the world for auto production, down from seventh. Automobile manufacturing helped build Ontario in the post-war years. To see our relevance within the global manufacturing community diminished is alarming. It speaks to lost jobs, lost taxes and lost opportunities. In 2014, global automakers announced investments totalling $7 billion for Mexico, including $3.6 billion for three new assembly plants. That compares with $750 million invested in Ontario. Part of the challenge is countries like Mexico are willing to provide enormous incentives to global automakers, incentives Canada has been unable or unwilling to match. Can a car czar make a difference? Probably. Tanquay will be the point man between Ontario’s and Ottawa’s sometimes clumsy efforts to attract new business. He’ll be a champion for an industry that desperately needs one.

Skilled Trades Update

Current Manpower: 1 Carpenter; 30 Cutter Grinder; 1 Dyno; 85 Electrician; 64 Machine Repair; 52 Millwright; 40 Pipefitter; 1 Painter; 3 Sheet Metal; 79 Toolmaker; 3 Truck Mechanic; 6 Welder = Total 365

The shutdown is here and a lot of effort was put into getting people out on vacation if they wanted and finding work for those that preferred to take vacation at some other time. There were a few glitches due to last minute scheduling and trying to find work for those who were available to work but generally, this is a huge change from last year’s shutdown. For those of you who will be here, work safe and work smart.

“The Union Leadership would like to wish everyone a safe and happy vacation.”

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