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General Motors Agrees to Terms With Canadian Labor Union

General Motors and a Canadian union, Unifor, have reached a tentative deal on a new contract, bringing an end to a short-lived strike by over 4,000 workers that began earlier in the day.

The deal includes the same raises and other terms that Unifor had previously agreed to with Ford Motor, such as a 20 percent wage increase for production workers over three years and a 25 percent raise for skilled trades workers.

The contract still needs to be ratified by Unifor members before it can take effect. Workers at Ford’s Canadian operation have already ratified their contract.

Work is expected to resume at the three G.M. plants and distribution centers that were affected by the strike on Tuesday afternoon.

The company stated that this agreement “recognizes the many contributions of our represented team members with significant increases in wages, benefits, and job security while building on G.M.’s historic investments in Canadian manufacturing.”

The tentative deal was reached after nearly 4,300 Unifor workers went on strike at three locations in Ontario, including a vehicle assembly plant and stamping site in Oshawa, a plant in St. Catharines that supplies engines and transmissions, and a parts distribution center in Woodstock.

Unifor had been urging G.M. to accept the same terms as those outlined in the Ford contract, a practice known as pattern bargaining that has long been used by automakers and their unions.

Unifor’s national president, Lana Payne, stated, “When faced with the shutdown of these key facilities, General Motors had no choice but to get serious at the table and agree to the pattern. The solidarity of our members has led to a comprehensive tentative agreement that follows the pattern set at Ford Motor Company to the letter.”

Ford’s agreement with Unifor includes wage increases, productivity bonuses, higher entry-level wages, improved pensions, cost-of-living allowances, and other enhancements. G.M. has also committed to converting all temporary workers into permanent employees over the life of the agreement.

Workers at G.M.’s CAMI Assembly Plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, are covered by a separate contract and did not participate in the strike on Tuesday. Unifor represents 315,000 workers in various industries.

In the United States, the United Automobile Workers (U.A.W.) union is currently on strike at a G.M. pickup truck plant in Missouri, a sport-utility plant in Michigan, and parts warehouses across the country. The U.A.W. has also gone on strike at two Ford plants. At Stellantis, the manufacturer of Chrysler, Jeep, and Ram vehicles, union members have gone on strike at one factory and 20 parts warehouses.

In total, approximately 25,000 out of the 150,000 U.A.W. members employed by the three automakers are currently on strike. Like Unifor, the U.A.W. is seeking significant wage increases, expanded pensions, and a shorter path to reach the top wage level.

Negotiations began in July, and the strike officially began on September 15th, when the previous labor contracts with the companies expired.

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