Retiree Chairperson’s Report – May 2019
Well, we are all looking forward to finally having some warmer weather. Things are good at the Retirees Centre and Local union as well. The meeting of the retiree leadership held at Local 88 in Ingersoll went well. I talked about getting annual inflation protection on our pensions in the 2020 contract negotiations and also how the meeting held earlier in London, Ontario with the Unifor’s National Union leadership had been successful as well. It had involved the Ford, Fiat Chrysler and GM plant leadership.
The Oshawa leadership and the National Union have worked out a closure agreement with General Motors. There will be an investment of $170 million to support a transition of operations at the plant from vehicle assembly to one focused on stamping related to sub-assembly and other miscellaneous activities for GM and for other auto industry customers. The Flex Line will cease vehicle production in October 2019. The truck line will cease vehicle production on or before December 31, 2019. The Company is to provide written notice in advance, should there be any extensions. The jobs saved are a minimum of 300 hourly jobs at the plant in 2020 with the expectation of significant growth beyond this with a target of 500 employees within 3 years.
Oshawa Site Incentive Programs
Option #1: Enhanced Retirement Incentive
Non-Trades classifications are eligible to receive $130,000 plus a $10,000 vehicle voucher
Skilled Trades classifications are eligible to receive $150,000 plus a $10,000 vehicle voucher
There are five other options in the agreement that are based on a GM worker’s seniority with all different sums of money depending on your years of service.
Option# 6: Special is a Preferential Hire Opportunity.
By contrast, the Company agreed to conduct a special one-time $40,000 retirement incentive canvass at both the St Catharines facility and the Woodstock PDC. This is in order to create one for one job openings for seniority members from GM Oshawa who are affected by the closure. I think the Unifor Local 222 leadership and the Unifor National Union did the best job that could have been done under the circumstances, since they were faced with a complete plant closure. They put up a hell of a fight and did a great job for the membership of Unifor Local 222.
In closing, I would also like to thank the retirees who rode on our bus to Toronto on April 30, 2019 to be at Queen’s Park defending our healthcare system in the face of the Tory attacks.
Chairperson, Retiree Chapter, Unifor Local 199