TORONTO—Unifor officially opened contract negotiations with Ford, General Motors and Stellantis today on behalf of 18,000 union members at the Detroit Three.
“Autoworkers are ready to transform Canada’s auto industry, but first they need a contract that delivers the stability, fairness, and respect they are owed for the monumental task ahead,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. “These negotiations are also taking place against the backdrop of a historic affordability crisis that needs to be addressed with strong pensions, better wages and adequate protection from the effects of transition to electric vehicle production.”
Unifor held meetings with each of the automakers to deliver Unifor autoworkers’ proposals.
“For every union member working in an auto plant, whether they’re new or nearing retirement, a strong pension should be the cornerstone of working at the Detroit Three,” said Ford Master Bargaining Chair John D’Agnolo. “A lot has changed with higher costs for everything from food to rent. We need to address that for everyone with a pension plan that provides a decent standard of living now and in the future.”
Unifor will announce a target company at a time deemed appropriate by the union.
“Autoworkers cannot be left behind during the retooling period our plants will go through as we transition to electric vehicle manufacturing,” said Stellantis Master Bargaining Chair James Stewart. “We can’t afford to lose any of the skills or knowledge our members have during this downtime. Many of the measures our members have already bargained will need to be enhanced and new ones created to navigate the road ahead.”
“At the end of the day, our members want to be able to pay their bills and have a family supporting job, and right now autoworkers’ wages, the wage progression and overall compensation don’t reflect how expensive life has become for everyone,” said General Motors Master Bargaining Chair Jason Gale. “The path to full pay must be shorter and autoworkers’ wages should reflect the hard work, skills, and dedication they show every single day.”
For access to recordings and photos of today’s photo opportunities and media conference, media inquiries or to arrange interviews via FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor Communications Director Kathleen O’Keefe at @email or by cell at (416) 896-3303.