TORONTO, Aug. 11, 2016 /CNW/ - Formal contract talks opened earlier today between Unifor and both Ford and Fiat Chrysler.
"We have one simple message for all the Detroit Three automakers: there can be no deals without commitments to new investments in Canada," Unifor National President Jerry Dias said.
"It just makes sense to invest in Canada. Our workers are the most highly skilled and productive in the world."
Talks with General Motors formally began on Wednesday.
Now that formal negotiations have begun, talks with all three companies will continue until after Labour Day, when one company is selected to set the pattern for bargaining with the Detroit Three automakers.
With pattern bargaining, negotiations focus on one company, establishing a standard that will model the contracts with the other automakers. Once a deal is ratified with the automaker that was the selected pattern target, focus shifts to the next company, and then the third.
At its June 1 meeting, Unifor's Auto Council, with elected representatives from every bargaining unit involved in this round of negotiations, voted unanimously to make new investments in Canada, including new product allocations, the top priority of the talks.
Since the last round of negotiations, the past four years have been very profitable for all of the Detroit Three companies, particularly for shareholders and executives, Dias said. He added, "It is now time for the workers to be rewarded and the first step is with new investments in Canada."
As in past negotiations, Unifor will advance important social issues at the table in order to make gains not only for its members, but for all Canadians. In this round, Unifor will look to the auto companies to join it in advancing Pharmacare. As well, as new investments are made in Canada, there will be greater opportunities for good jobs for diverse groups of Canadians.
For more details and background information, go to unifor.org/autotalks16. The hashtag for the contract talks will be #Autotalks16.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers, including 23,050 auto workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.
For further information: please contact Unifor Communications National Representative Stuart Laidlaw at Stuart.Laidlaw@Unifor.org or (cell) 647-385-4054, or Unifor Communications Director Denise Hammond at Denise.Hammond@Unifor.org or (cell) 416-937-1126.