Canadian trade union seeks investment from Big 3

by

comment
Unifor President Jerry Dias. - PHOTO VIA WIKIPEDIA
  • Photo via Wikipedia
  • Unifor President Jerry Dias.

President Jerry Dias of Unifor (Union for Canada), a trade union that launched as a merger of the Canadian Auto Workers and Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions, has called for the Big Three auto companies to invest in Canadian assembly facilities, according to CBC News, Windsor

Referring to the Big Three, Dias said: "Four years ago they had come out of the 2008-2009 recession, but there was still a lot of uncertainty. This round of bargaining is really about solidifying the footprint in Canada."



Existing agreements that were established four years ago will expire September 19. As the date approaches, Unifor will target one of the Big Three to make a deal, which will serve as a foundation for negotiations with the other two companies. 

Unifor looks good going into contract negotiations. The value of the Canadian dollar relative to the greenback lowers labor costs, and Canadian auto sales reached a record high in 2015. U.S. automakers have also been selling well, a fact that Dias hopes will encourage long-term investment.



"If we can't negotiate a settlement that gives our members' security while times are good," he said, "we would be naive to believe that we can negotiate stability when times are bad." 

If no new production plans are announced soon, and if Unifor does not receive support from American auto industries or the Canadian government, Dias is concerned that GM will close Unifor's assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario. The futures of plants in Windsor and Brampton are also uncertain. 

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.