/R E P E A T -- Unifor negotiations with Detroit Three set to begin/

TORONTO, Aug. 8, 2016 /CNW/ - Formal contract talks between Unifor and the Detroit Three automakers begin this week, starting with General Motors on Wednesday, followed by formal openings with Ford and Fiat Chrysler Canada on Thursday.

"These are perhaps the most important auto contract talks in a generation," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias, who will lead the negotiations.

"There will be no deals with any of the companies without commitments from each of them for investments in Canada."

Press conferences will be held Wednesday and Thursday at the Sheraton Centre in downtown Toronto after the formal openings. Negotiations will continue to the end of the month with all three companies. A pattern bargaining target will be identified in early September.

With pattern bargaining, negotiations focus on one company, establishing a pattern that will model the contracts of with the other automakers. Once a deal is ratified with the pattern target, focus shifts to the next company, and then the third.

"This system has served both the companies and the workers well, ensuring we don't have a race to the bottom and can maintain good jobs and strong communities," said Local 200 President Chris Taylor, Chair of the Master Bargaining Committee.

At its meeting June 1, Unifor's Auto Council, with elected representatives from every bargaining unit involved in this round of talks, voted unanimously to make new investments in Canada, including new product allocations, the top priority of the talks.

Dias said while the top priority will be new product, workers helped the companies weather the financial storm of 2008-9, and deserve to reap the rewards - just as shareholders and top executives have done over the last few years.

"The automakers' relative health and the strength of the North American auto market make now the ideal time to invest," Dias said.

Contracts with the Detroit Three companies expire at 11:59pm on September 19, putting the two sides in a legal strike/lockout position at that time.

For full details of the formal contract talks openings and press conferences, please see the attached, and visit unifor.org/AutoTalks16.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers, including more than 40,000 in the auto industry, 23,000 employed by the Detroit Three. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.

Schedule of Formal Openings

TORONTO, August 10 - Formal contract negotiations between Unifor and the Detroit Three automakers open Wednesday and Thursday at the Sheraton Centre in downtown Toronto. Here is a schedule of those openings, and accompanying press conferences.

Wednesday, August 10

General Motors Opening
Where: Sheraton Centre, 123 Queen Street West, Toronto, Dominion Room
When: Wednesday, August 10, 1pm
Who: Unifor National President Jerry Dias, accompanied by the Unifor Master Bargaining Committee and members of the GM Bargaining Committee from each of the GM bargaining units, meeting with the General Motors bargaining committee.

Press Conference
Where: Sheraton Centre, 123 Queen Street West, Toronto, Simcoe Dufferin Room
When: Wednesday, August 10, 3pm
Who: Unifor National President Jerry Dias, accompanied by the Unifor Master Bargaining Committee and members of the GM Bargaining Committee from each of the GM bargaining units.

Thursday, August 11

Ford Opening
Where: Sheraton Centre, 123 Queen Street West, Toronto, Dominion Room
When: Thursday, August 11, 10am
Who: Unifor National President Jerry Dias, accompanied by the Unifor Master Bargaining Committee and members of the Ford Bargaining Committee from each of the Ford bargaining units, meeting with the Ford bargaining committee.

Fiat Chrysler Opening
Where: Sheraton Centre, 123 Queen Street West, Toronto, Dominion Room
When: Thursday, August 11, noon
Who: Unifor National President Jerry Dias, accompanied by the Unifor Master Bargaining Committee and members of the Fiat Chrysler Canada Bargaining Committee from each of the FCA bargaining units, meeting with the Fiat Chrysler Canada bargaining committee.

Press Conference
Where: Sheraton Centre, 123 Queen Street West, Toronto, Simcoe Dufferin Room
When: Thursday, August 11, 2pm
Who: Unifor National President Jerry Dias, accompanied by the Unifor Master Bargaining Committee and members of the Ford and Fiat Chrysler Canada Bargaining Committee from each of the bargaining units.

Call in instructions:
Participant Number (Local):         647-427-7450 or/and 514-807-9895
Participant Number (Toll free North America):    888-231-8191(English only) or 866-865-3087
Conference ID (English Participants):     49394507
Conference ID (French Participants):      49428717

SOURCE Unifor

For further information: please contact Unifor Communications National Representative Stuart Laidlaw at Stuart.Laidlaw@Unifor.org or (cell) 647-385-4054.

RELATED LINKS
http://unifor.org

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