Unifor preps for Detroit 3 talks

Unifor is in the early stages of setting priorities ahead of auto talks with Ford Motor, General Motors and Stellatis this fall.

Labor union president Lana Payne said cost-of-living adjustments and income security protections were among the biggest challenges for Unifor members facing high inflation and long periods of unemployment as auto factories were converted for electric vehicles. I said it was likely one of the issues with manufacturing.

“People want to keep up, so I suspect very basic economic issues like this will be part of the priorities in the August negotiations,” she said. car news canada.

Payne said he didn’t want to speculate on members’ demands, so he couldn’t delve into the details. , and before expanding to national union representatives this spring and summer, starting with locals.

“While we are talking, they are seriously considering starting that work, gathering suggestions from their members, and working out as much of the local negotiation issues as possible before getting to the main negotiating table.”

Unifor represents approximately 22,000 hourly workers. Detroit 3 Canadian assembly and powertrain plant. Most of these workers were, with the exception of those at his CAMI assembly plant at his GM in Ingersoll, Ontario. — falls under the union’s primary collective bargaining agreement with Detroit 3. All three deals are set to expire on September 18th.

Pension is a ‘priority’

Payne also highlighted some of the union’s priorities at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s 28th Annual Automotive Insights Symposium on January 12th.

She said pensions would be on the agenda at the event.

“If 15 years go by without making any substantive changes, I can assure you that this will become a priority.”

None of the Detroit three automakers were willing to discuss negotiating priorities.

GM Canada spokeswoman Jennifer Wright said the company is looking forward to negotiations this year, but declined to say whether the company has set any targets.

“We look forward to working with Unifor’s partners to secure competitive labor contracts for our operations in Oshawa, St. Catharines and Woodstock,” she wrote in an email.

Similarly, Stellantis spokeswoman LouAnn Gosselin said the company is not yet ready to share its negotiating priorities.

Similarly, Steven Majer, senior director and HR business partner at Ford Canada, said the company values ​​its partnership with Unifor. Ford aims to “jointly realize the global Ford+ plan, building on the success of the 2023 negotiations.”

UAW and UNIFOR talks coincide

In addition to the negotiations in Canada, the three automakers are scheduled to meet with the UAW in the United States this fall. It is the first time since before Unifor was formed in 2013 that two unions representing auto workers in Canada and the United States have agreed to negotiate.

Payne said Unifor is serious about possible coordination with its US counterpart after waiting for the results of the UAW elections. car news canada.

“Whoever their new team is, we will continue to have good communication with them and work as best we can for all members who come out of negotiations this year.”

When it comes to dealing with the Detroit 3, Unifor isn’t headed for battle-ruining negotiations, but it will be tough when it needs to.

“I will never participate in negotiations. Neither our committee nor staff believe this will lead to a dispute. I think it is the wrong approach.”

Nonetheless, Payne added that the negotiations were “always tough.”

“To be honest, these are some of the biggest companies on the planet. This is no easy feat.”

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