Canada union head: GM threatens to move production to Mexico

Unifor Local 88 at CAMI Automotive in Ingersoll, Ontario and some 2,500 employees went on strike at 10:59 p.m. September 17 with the goal of having GM make their plant the main producer of the Chevrolet Equinox and job security.

The company's warning to the union comes as a strike at its southwestern Ontario operation stretches into a fourth week. A GM official with knowledge of the bargaining says they're still talking but are at impasse over job security.

- GM told the union on Wednesday that it's ramping up production of the hot-selling Equinox at two Mexican plants, according to Dias.

Talks have resumed between GM and the union representing 2,800 workers now striking at Ingersoll's CAMI assembly plant.

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"The message is very clear", Dias said.

"This is a callous and heartless attitude for General Motors to take toward a community that has worked so hard to build its top-selling vehicles", Dias said in a Thursday Unifor news release.

One of the issues the Ingersoll employees have with GM is that it move production of the GMC Terrain to Mexico, cutting it down to just Equinox.

Dias says GM's threat during labour negotiations is a '"slap in the face" to Canada and the United States. The union wants GM to designate the plant as the main Equinox producer.

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The CAMI plant is a prime example of a trend that has been happening for years, with GM adding plants in Mexico while closing Canadian and USA plants, Dias said. "Mexican workers are being exploited and, as a result of that, we're losing hundreds and hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs in Canada and the United States".

But he said Dias could be making the situation worse by being so firm on demands for long-term commitments from the automaker.

The ongoing talks between General Motors and Unifor-represented workers at the company's plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, may be heading south - literally.

The Unifor Local 88 called for a strike after contract negotiations between it and GM could not reach a deal by the time the existing contract expired.

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