TORONTO - Unifor served the Detroit Three (D3) automakers, Ford, General Motors and Stellantis notice to bargain today on behalf of 18,000 members whose collective agreements are set to expire in September 2023.
“Unifor will open negotiations with the D3 at a critical time for the auto sector in Canada both in terms of the historic transition to electric vehicle manufacturing and the current economic challenges confronting workers,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “Auto workers are in a position of strength heading in to this year’s Auto Talks. We’re ready to build on the gains we’ve made in the past, capitalize on the momentum of recent investments in the auto sector while taking the challenges faced by auto workers head-on.”
The union will open bargaining with D3 automakers August 10, 2023, in Toronto.
“We’ve been hard at work and prepared diligently for negotiations by surveying our membership, determining our priorities and setting our overall bargaining strategy,” said John D’Agnolo, Unifor Auto Council Chair and Ford Master Bargaining Chair. “At the heart of these preparations is a democratic process of direct consultations with union members who submit hundreds of proposals.”
Following consultations with Unifor members, the union adopted the following key priorities at its pre-bargaining Auto Council.
• Wage package
• Transition issues related to the shift to electric vehicle manufacturing (e.g. retooling period)
• Confirmation of investment and product commitments, including specific product allocations and timelines.
The union’s plans for D3 negotiations centre on members’ needs and securing their role in the EV transition. The theme echoes the union’s auto policy, ‘Navigating the Road Ahead,’ containing 29 key policy recommendations for governments and automakers.
“It’s vital that we not only secure clear product commitments for our auto plants but also all of the income security measures needed to protect union members throughout the EV transition and the retooling process,” said James Stewart, Stellantis Master Bargaining Chair.
The union will also seek to address concerns with future transition plans for internal combustion engine (ICE) powertrain facilities. “Unifor members are the ones who made the EV transition possible by building highly profitable ICE vehicles. Our goal is to ensure union members are rewarded with a secure future and a clear transition plan that includes them,” said Jason Gale, GM Master Bargaining Chair.
“When Unifor goes to the table with the D3, we will have our most valuable asset at our back: 18,000 highly skilled and dedicated workers,” said Payne. “Canada’s autoworkers are ready and determined to reach a fair and inclusive contract that clearly defines their long-term future,” said Payne.
For more information visit autotalks.ca.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.