Unifor says progress has been made as the union negotiates a new contract with General Motors.
Time is running out to reach a deal, Unifor’s contract with the Detroit Three automakers, GM, Ford and Chrysler expires Monday night.
New deals with each of three companies will be negotiated successively, with the first one forming a model for the others in what’s known as pattern bargaining.
The union is threatening job action if it doesn’t reach a deal with GM by 11:59 p.m. Monday.
Unifor National President Jerry Dias has said they will not extend Monday’s strike deadline.
Unifor choose to bargain with General Motors first as it tries to secure more production at the automaker’s plant in Oshawa, Ont.
At GM’s Oshawa plant, one assembly line is scheduled to shut down in 2017 and another builds vehicles that sources have told Reuters will likely move.
General Motors recently indicated that while it’s “taking a hopeful perspective” on the talks, it doesn’t intend to make any commitments until they are finished.
While its focusing negotiations on GM, the tentative agreement Unifor reaches will “set a pattern” for agreements with all three automakers. Aside from new investments, Unifor also wants wage increases, a better “new hire” program and retirement incentives.
There are approximately 23,000 Unifor members currently working for the Detroit Three.
The employment stakes have always been high, but at a time when Canada’s manufacturing sector is still reeling from major job losses over the last decade (dropping from 2.1 million jobs in 2006 to 1.7 million jobs in 2014), Dias has said the country can “ill afford” to lose more jobs to cheaper labour markets like Mexico.