March 18, 2020
TORONTO—Unifor demands income protection for auto workers as Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler suspend operations across North America, throwing thousands of Canadian Unifor members out of work.
“We understand that this pandemic requires an extraordinary response but Canadian auto workers must not bear the brunt of this crisis. Workers must be protected from this virus and from financial hardship as a result of this pandemic,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.
Both Ford and General Motors have announced it will conduct a deep clean of all facilities in response to Covid-19 and that the suspension will last at least until March 30. FCA has informed the union it plans to shut down production immediately and will re-evaluate at the end of this month.
Unifor represents approximately 40,000 workers at Ford, GM and FCA, and at Independent Parts Suppliers in Canada and is calling on all the employers to commit to full pay for workers during this temporary down period.
The union believes all employers must maintain workers regular wages, whether they are unionised or not if there are work stoppages due to the pandemic.
Unifor will continue to monitor the situation with Covid-19 and the status of production with the automakers through the newly announced Canada Task Force which includes the Presidents of Unifor, FCA Canada, Ford of Canada and GM Canada.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. 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 media inquiries please contact Unifor’s Director of Communications, Natalie Clancy at Natalie.Clancy@unifor.orgor 416-707-5794 (cell).