On September 8, 2020, National President Jerry Dias selected Ford Motor Company as the target Company to lead negotiations across the Detroit 3 automakers. It is the Union’s intent to reach a settlement with Ford that will set the pattern for wages, benefits, pensions, and other working conditions for autoworkers across Canada.
Following discussions with each of the automakers in the week preceding the target selection, we determined that on critical matters such as future investment and collective agreement improvements, Ford’s vision most closely aligned with our own. The Union believes that negotiating with Ford first gives us the best chance to address our bargaining agenda and our vision for the industry.
Negotiations between the Union and Ford have proceeded well since Labour Day, with early progress made at the local committee tables, sub-committee tables and master tables.
Despite this encouraging progress, the Union and Company remain far apart on many key matters. This includes compensation and various workplace issues. The Union is also committed to locking in needed investment and job security measures that will be a cornerstone to any final deal. The Company and Union formally tabled their first comprehensive economic offers, which highlight many fundamental differences and challenges to be resolved.
The week ahead
Bargaining will continue over the course of the next week, with both Union and Company representatives planning to meet as frequently as possible. Committees will work diligently to resolve all outstanding matters and in an attempt to reach a tentative settlement prior to the deadline that is set for 11:59 p.m. on Monday September 21.
Members can expect another bargaining update sent in advance of the deadline that will provide a status check on talks. Members can also expect to receive information from their local Union in regards to strike preparation as well as information related to ratification meetings. This is to help prepare members for either outcome. Be sure to contact your local Union representative for further information.
In accordance with public health rules, ratification meetings will operate differently this year as compared to prior years. Stay tuned for more information, and be sure to follow your local Union’s instructions on how to register for these meetings and enable yourself to vote on the tentative settlement.
Unifor promoting racial justice
Those who watched the Union’s strike target announcement on September 8 would have seen National President Jerry Dias, National Secretary-Treasurer Lana Payne, and the Chairs of the Ford, GM and FCA Master Bargaining Committees, wearing Black Lives Matter t-shirts.
At the news conference, Jerry spoke passionately about the need for Unifor to use every platform it has to champion racial justice. There are few platforms with a higher profile in Canada than Detroit 3 bargaining.
It is important to remember that collective bargaining does not exist in a vacuum. It has a direct influence on the workplace, but also on the broader community. Unifor believes in being a social union – a union that provides support to its members, and all workers, whenever they need it. When workers who are racialized face discrimination, oppression, and struggle for equality – our union will stand with them, in solidarity, and fight for change.
During this round of auto talks, the Unifor Master Bargaining Committees are committed to advancing racial justice, through education, awareness, and by breaking down barriers to racialized communities in the workplace.
The Union will continue to report on progress of talks with members over the coming week, and will relay as much information on the status of talks as possible. Our objective is to be as open and transparent with members as possible, without undermining the integrity of the bargaining process. Please stay tuned for further updates.
SUBSCRIBE for GM Bargaining Updates
Unifor Local 199 Members who work at General Motors St Catharines and want to receive information and updates by e mail can use the following link to submit their e mail address. PLEASE NOTE If you have already sent in your e mail address you do not have to do it again. We will add your address to receive information about the ratification meeting and vote. Information will also be posted in the plant, on our Facebook page and Website.
- GM St Catharines members can subscribe for Local Union Bargaining Updates by CLICKING HERE.
Here are a few useful links related to bargaining.
- Auto Talks National Union
- Auto Talks 2020 Updates
- Auto Talks 2020 Resources
- GM Unit Local 199 Facebook (Closed Group)
- Strike Authorization Vote PODCAST
- STRIKE AUTHORIZATION VOTE how it works
- Bargaining Update #3
- Bargaining Update #4
- VIDEO Press Conference Target is Ford