At a meeting of the membership on October 16, 2017, Unifor Local 88 members voted to ratify new four-year collective agreement, ending a nearly month-long strike.
While this strike may have ended and production resumes on October 17, the fight for fairness and job security continues.
The heartless approach by General Motors in this round of negotiations has caused a great deal of hurt and anxiety, not to mention financial cost, for our dedicated Local 88 members at CAMI in Ingersoll and for the entire community.
For eight consecutive years, the members of Local 88 worked six days a week, producing very profitable, quality award winning vehicles. This dedication deserved to be recognized by General Motors through enhanced job security. Our members had every reason to make this demand, and did everything to demonstrate it was a demand that deserved to be met. Despite every effort, General Motors steadfastly has continued to refuse to accept Unifor’s reasonable demand to designate the CAMI plant as General Motors lead producer for the Chevy Equinox.
What cannot and will not be forgotten in this strike is the stand taken by Local 88 members to fight for good jobs and a stable future for families and the surrounding Ingersoll community.
Among other gains, the new Agreement provides for improvements to the new hire program, wage increase, improvement to benefits, and 10 days paid leave for those dealing with domestic violence. All members of Local 88 can be rightfully proud of their actions and the solidarity shown on the line. It is this strike that will strengthen the resolve of members and our union for years to come.
The national union would also like to acknowledge the incredible dedication shown throughout these negotiations by Local 88 President Dan Borthwick, CAMI Unit Chair Mike Van Boekel and the entire bargaining committee. Their commitment to the best interests of the membership and the community was evident throughout this process.
The past four weeks of this strike have brought in to focus the issues of free trade and just how unfair it is to workers. Canada continues to bleed good paying, unionized manufacturing jobs as a result of trade deals like NAFTA. The ongoing renegotiation of NAFTA must lead to a new kind of trade, one that puts the needs of working people first.