GM workers in Canada end strike over job security

Detroit (AFP) –


Striking autoworkers began returning to work Monday at a General Motors plant in Canada following a month-long work stoppage over job security, according to labor union officials.

Nearly 2,800 workers at the Ingersoll, Ontario plant ratified a four-year agreement that included a four percent pay raise as well as signing and performance bonuses, according to Unifor, the union.

The strike, which began September 17, had been prompted by GM's decision to move some work from Ingersoll to Mexico, leaving some 600 workers idle.

The plant helps manufacture GM's popular Chevrolet Equinox, a midsize crossover SUV, and GM would not commit to keeping Equinox jobs at the Ingersoll plant rather than moving them to GM plants in Mexico, which also produce the Equinox.

"Despite our every effort, General Motors steadfastly refused to accept our members' reasonable demand to designate the CAMI plant as General Motors lead producer for the Chevy Equinox," Unifor president Jerry Dias wrote in a message to local members voting on the deal.

In a statement, GM Canada President Steve Carlisle hailed the deal.

"We have an outstanding new product at CAMI with the Chevrolet Equinox and I am confident that we will quickly pull together to continue to demonstrate to the world the outstanding productivity, innovation and quality that is synonymous with the CAMI workforce," he said.

The agreement came late Friday after GM warned it could move even more production to Mexico if the strike persisted.

The threat appeared to break a deadlock in talks, which had stalled during the previous week as the union pressed for the plant's designation as lead producer of the Equinox.