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GM Strike: Why Are Workers Striking in Ontario?

GM Strike: Why Are Workers Striking in Ontario?

Unifor, the largest union in Canada for the private sector, represents the almost 3,000 employees that are now on strike at the CAMI Assembly plant. NAFTA is being blamed for the loss of tens of thousands of Canadian auto industry jobs. This plant is responsible for the production of Chevrolet Equinox.

When asked about Equinox production, a GM spokesperson said the company had no additional comments beyond its statement on the strike.

Nearly 3,000 workers at a GM manufacturing plant in Ontario walked off the job on Sunday over concerns about the future of their jobs.

GM moved production of the GMC Terrain from the plant to Mexico earlier this year, Bloomberg said.

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Mr. Dias, echoing President Trump to some extent, blames Mexican wages and employment standards for the lost jobs in Canada.

"If you can't keep your jobs when you have the best plant in the world, then you've got a problem", Jerry Dias, president of Unifor, said, according to Bloomberg. Though a small number are made in Mexico, the vast majority are built at CAMI plant and is the only model the plant now builds.

"Every member understands the importance of reaching a deal that secures production, and what that means to our families and the community", said Mike Van Boekel, Local 88 Chair at the CAMI plant.

The union scheduled a meeting for Sunday to instruct members on picket. "As long as they can build in Mexico for $2 an hour or less, they'll do that".

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"While General Motors of Canada and our Unifor partners have made very positive progress on several issues over the past weeks, the Company is disappointed that we were not able to complete a new agreement", GM said in a statement to Automotive News.

"Look, Canada and the USA agree that the problem isn't us - especially in the auto sector", Mr. Dias said last month in an interview with The Windsor Star, the newspaper in an auto town that has lost all its G.M. plants. Local 88 represents CAMI workers.

Earlier this year, GM announced a layoff of some 600 workers at the Canadian plant, and so far 424 jobs have been shaved due to buyouts, retirements and some recalls of formerly laid-off workers. "We encourage Unifor to resume negotiations and to continue working together to secure a competitive agreement", GM said. "So, CAMI, this whole strike, is the poster child for what's wrong with NAFTA, this is why we need to redo NAFTA".

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