GM workers accept tentative agreement
September 26, 2016 by The Canadian Press
Sept. 26, 2016 – Unionized workers at General Motors have accepted a new contract with the auto giant.
Unifor, which represents the workers, says 64.7 per cent of the members who cast ballots voted in favour of the contract.
The agreement hammered out last week includes a two per cent wage increase this year and another two per cent increase in September 2019.
There is also a $6,000 signing bonus plus lump sum bonuses of $2,000 in each of the next three years to most employees.
The deal also includes improvements to benefits, hiring practices and a commitment by GM to invest $554-million in its Canadian operations.
Unifor President Jerry Dias says it’s the best deal the union has obtained with one of the auto giants in the past decade.
“The gains made in this agreement are historic and more than what has been achieved in the past ten years,” Dias said in a statement.
General Motors of Canada president Steve Carlisle issued a statement Sunday that says the deal will position the automaker’s Canadian operations at the “forefront of an industry that is experiencing dramatic transformation and change.”
The agreement also converts 700 temporary jobs to full-time status.
Votes were held Sunday in three Ontario communities: Oshawa, St Catharines and Woodstock.
A union statement didn’t say how many members voted, but Unifor represents 4,000 workers at GM.
The agreement will serve as a basis for Unifor as it moves on to its next round of bargaining with the Detroit Three.
The union is to sit down with Fiat-Chrysler on Monday.