TORONTO, Aug. 10, 2017 /CNW/ - On the eve of talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, bargaining has formally begun for a new collective agreement at the CAMI Automotive plant where jobs are moving to Mexico.
"This is a productive plant. Good jobs are being lost because NAFTA makes it possible," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.
Unifor Local 88 represents about 3,000 workers at the General Motors CAMI plant in Ingersoll. In January, the company announced that production of the Terrain is moving to Mexico, resulting in 600 layoffs. The plant also produces the Equinox.
Dias will be in Washington next week as the first round of talks begins to renegotiate NAFTA. In a submission to the federal government, Unifor said the new NAFTA must put the needs of workers and their communities first.
"These lost jobs are just the latest in a long history of NAFTA and other trade deals hurting our manufacturing communities," Dias said.
"It will take more than tweaks and minor changes to fix NAFTA. A major overhaul is needed."
Formal bargaining between Unifor and GM opened this morning, and continuing into the fall. The plant, which began as a joint venture with Suzuki in the late 1980s, is not covered by the Master Agreement negotiated between Unifor and GM in 2016. The current contract expires at 11:59pm on September 17.
Unifor Local 88 hosted a town hall on trade and NAFTA in July, where workers and community members discussed the need to refocus Canada's trade agenda on the needs of workers, not corporations. To see more about Unifor's position on NAFTA, go to unifor.org/NAFTA.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers in every major area of the economy, including 45000 in the auto industry. 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.
For further information: contact Unifor Communications National Representative Stuart Laidlaw at firstname.lastname@example.org or (cell) 647-385-4054.