TORONTO, Aug. 28, 2016 /CNW/ - In votes held today, workers at each of the Detroit Three automakers authorized Unifor's bargaining committees to initiate strike action, if a fair and reasonable settlement is not reached before the September 19th deadline.
"With this clear mandate our members have demonstrated they are in full support of their bargaining committees, and our direction in this set of negotiations. The bargaining committee will not accept a deal without a commitment to investment in Canada's auto sector," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias, who is leading the Detroit Three negotiations.
"The push for new investments in Canada got a lot stronger today."
Workers at General Motors voted 97.1 per cent in favour of strike action, those at Ford Motor Company voted 98.9 per cent in favour and at Fiat Chrysler Automobile voted 99.0 per cent in favour.
At Unifor's June 1 Auto Council meeting, elected representatives from every Detroit Three bargaining unit voted unanimously to make new investments in Canada, including new product allocations, the top priority of the talks. With this vote members have authorized the use of strike action if necessary.
Dias said the Detroit Three companies have done well in the four years since the last round of negotiations, with both shareholders and executives profiting. It is now time for the workers to be rewarded, and that begins with new investments in Canada. Unifor will be in a legal strike position at 11:59pm on September 19.
"The membership took an important step today to support their bargaining committees, but our demand for new investment is not just about us. It is about maintaining and creating good paying jobs, it's about our communities and it's about the next generation," Dias said.
For additional information and background, please go to unifor.org/autotalks16.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers, including more than 23,000 working for the Detroit Three. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.
For further information: Unifor Communications National Representative Stuart Laidlaw at [email protected] or (cell) 647-385-4054, or Unifor Communications National Director Denise Hammond at [email protected] or (cell) 416-937-1126