CAW threatens to strike GM in Oshawa, Ontario
DETROIT -- The Canadian Auto Workers union local representing employees
at General Motors’ Oshawa, Ontario, assembly plant is threatening to
strike this fall unless the automaker confirms additional products and jobs.
CAW Local 222 warned GM on Thursday that the automaker is not living up
to promises made in 2006 to build other models there besides the
Chevrolet Camaro, the Toronto Star reported earlier today. The CAW’s
contract with GM expires Sept. 17.
Camaro production begins in February 2009. Besides that car, the plant
had been expected to assemble other new rear-wheel-drive models. The
plant currently assembles the front-drive Chevrolet Impala and Buick
LaCrosse on three shifts.
In 2006, union members ratified concessions to reduce costs, create a
flexible assembly plant and secure future vehicles. But the CAW said GM
now wants additional concessions to ensure future models, the newspaper
A GM spokesman said future products for Oshawa are in flux.
“Between the time we made the decision to make the investment in the
flex plant and move forward with the new competitive offering agreement
and Camaro, a huge amount has changed,” said Stew Low, director of
communications for GM of Canada.
“The loonie has soared to parity and beyond, and nobody anticipated a 35
mpg (CAFE) standard,” Low told Automotive News. “The union is focused on
new product programs and jobs -- and guess what, so are we.”
No timetable was given for an announcement. In its recently negotiated
contract with the UAW, GM agreed to an array of product commitments to
U.S. plants over the next several years.