Unifor Welcomes Auto Grants Announcement


TORONTO, Jan. 9, 2017 /CNW/ - Unifor welcomes an announcement from the federal and provincial governments to convert loans to the auto industry to grants.

"It is good to see Ottawa and the province recognizing the importance of the auto industry to provide much-needed good jobs and investment in our communities," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. "All levels of government must work together to show leadership and support for the auto industry."

At a joint press conference this afternoon, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains and Ontario Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid today announced support for the Ontario auto industry in the form of grants rather than repayable loans, as had been the policy previously. Unifor has long called for grants instead of repayable loans.

Noting that Unifor secured a total of $1.5 billion in investment in Canada during its 2016 collective bargaining with the Detroit Three automakers (Fiat Chrysler, Ford and GM), Dias applauded the move to grants as a way to help ensure further investments.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers, including more than 40,000 in the auto industry, 23,000 employed by the Detroit Three. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.