GM Health & Safety Reports – 2024

 Health and Safety Report   May 2024


Q: I told my TL/GL about my safety concern, but they haven’t documented it in the counter measure binder. What do I do?

A: The GL has until the end of shift to address any Employee safety concern. If the concern is not corrected by the next shifts start of shift meeting, you should raise the concern again to verify it has been documented in the level 5 counter measure binder for tracking.

Q: Why haven’t I received any feedback on any progress since I raised my concern?

A: Your GL or TL is to review concerns and provide any updates at start of shift meetings. If you feel that you are not receiving any updates at your SOS. Contact your H&S representative.

Q: I don’t really feel like the countermeasure to my concern is adequate, do I have to sign off and close my concern?

A: No!  If you believe the countermeasures are inadequate you do not need to  sign off. If you believe you are feeling pressured to sign off on countermeasures you do not agree will         address the concern, call your H&S representative.

Q: I have signed off on an Employee Safety Concern, but the counter measures have not solved the issue like I thought they would, can I raise the concern again?

A: YES! There will be times that Team members sign off on countermeasures they believe will address the concern. If the countermeasure fails to address the concern, the concern can be raised again following the Employee Safety Concern Process.

Q: Can my GL retaliate against me if I raise safety concerns?

A: NO!  As per the OHSA it is our duty to report the existence of hazards in the workplace. When done in good faith, this cannot lead to retaliation or reprisal.

Q: Can I refuse to perform work if I believe it is unsafe?

A: YES!  As per the OHSA, if you have reason to believe the work is likely to endanger yourself or other workers. These circumstances must be immediately investigated by your Unifor Representative and Supervisor.

Unifor Health & Safety Rep Richard Piper Tel: 289-228-7126  Email:
Unifor Health & Safety Rep Edward Steers Tel: 905-658-3271  Email:

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 Health and Safety Report   January, 2024

 Building a Psychologically Safe Workplace

In our last report, we mentioned the BEV3 project that will provide us all with a working future and the challenges we will face as the plant undergoes the process of re-tooling HFV6 and GF6, requiring the removal of old and installation of new equipment. Unfortunately, this is the nature of the Auto Industry, and we want to acknowledge that some people will experience pain during this retooling process. We also want to reassure them that some of us have experienced this many times during our careers, that this pain will be short term, and they won’t be forgotten by those who remain working. As always, we as Union Leadership will work through issues as they arise and will do everything we can to resolve them by focusing on what is the right thing to do for the benefit of all members.

Sometimes resolving difficult and complex issues requires time to research and formulate informed arguments so decisions can be made that will benefit both the Union and the Company. This is the art of negotiation, and every conversation is an opportunity for bargaining. We don’t win every argument, but we will fight with all available resources, and we will recognize our wins. Resolving the GMIN issue was a huge win.

The past couple of months, issues tied to the HFV6 wind-down has been stressful on all of us, but especially some of our junior members facing lay-off without a clear understanding where they stood in line of seniority. The stress experienced by everyone in the Plant has been palpable, thus affecting everyone’s psychological health and safety.

Psychological Health and Safety has been a topic of discussion for several years and is such a huge can of worms. It’s been very difficult to gain traction to “move the needle” on this…that is until recently. Mary Barra and Lana Payne discussed in Oshawa Nov. 2022; We discussed during GM Safety VP Marcos Purty visit Feb. 2023, which followed up with the Safety Culture Survey in June. It comes up during Brian Webb Safety Empathy Conversations we’ve participated in; We have agreements from 2023 Bargaining including a new Employee Assistance Program (EAP); We conducted stress conversations during Union Awareness classes in Nov/Dec. 2023, and most recently participated in a Safety Culture Roadmap Workshop meeting with Senior EV Safety Manager Francisco Hernandez in Jan. 2024 to review the results of the Safety Culture Survey and discuss next steps for creating action items.

2023 was the year of gathering data, and 2024 will be the year we work jointly together with the Company to improve our Safety Culture for the benefit of everyone at the GM St Catharines Propulsion Plant. The new EAP is an excellent resource for people in crisis, and we encourage everyone to explore available options you may need. For prevention, we are heavily engaged in this part of the process because our goal is to make our workplace a better place to work, by implementing permanent corrective actions that affect positive lasting changes to improve our psychological health and safety for the long term. You may ask why?

We had 21 documented lockout violations last year, the most of any Plant in the Corporation. So far this year, we’ve had 2. This trend is unacceptable because it threatens everyone’s physical, psychological, and financial safety, and the future of this facility. We must improve our safety culture by removing barriers that lead to complacency and normalized deviance, and the data supports focusing on issues for addressing the repeating occurrence of nuisance faults. The aggravation of nuisance faults is no excuse to violate energy control polices. These faults must be escalated and addressed. More to come…

Unifor Health and Safety Rep Edward Steers, 905 641 6420, Cell/Text 905 658 3271
Unifor Health and Safety Rep Richard Piper 905 641 6505, Cell/Text 289 228 7126

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