CAMI Announcement Signals need to re-negotiate NAFTA

TORONTO, January 27 – The announcement to lay off more than 600 workers at the CAMI – GM plant is a betrayal and shows why NAFTA is a terrible deal for Canadian jobs.

“This decision reeks of corporate greed. It is not based on sales, it is an another example of how good jobs are being shifted out of Canada for cheaper labour in Mexico and Unifor will not let it happen without a fight,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “The Equinox and Terrain are incredibly successful vehicles and given current market demand, there is no justification for lay-offs at the CAMI facility.”

Today’s announcement in Ingersoll triggers an unjustified loss of 625 jobs, said Unifor. The CAMI – GM plant was not part of the Detroit Three negotiations that happened this past fall where Unifor was able to secure a footprint in auto and more than $1.5 billion in investment for production and jobs. While pledging the union’s full commitment to do all it can for its members Dias indicated that the announcement should be the last straw for the federal government and called for swift action.

“The CAMI announcement is a shining example of everything wrong with NAFTA, it must be re-negotiated. It is imperative that we have trade rules that help ensure good jobs in Canada,” Dias said.

Unifor is calling on Trudeau to set up mechanisms to restore a balance in jobs and investment to protect the Canadian economy and Canada’s auto industry. Unifor also asks the federal government to step up and act with confidence to protect jobs. According to industry data, the projected volumes for Equinox production in Mexico has steadily risen over the past few years, while previously it was solely made in Canada.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers, including 23,050 at the Detroit Three companies. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.