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General Motors Chosen As Unifor’s Target

Unifor has chosen General Motors as its target company in contract talks.

National President Jerry Dias made the announcement in Toronto Tuesday morning.

Unifor Local 444 President and President of the Fiat-Chrysler Master Bargaining Committee, Dino Chiodo says if investment in Canadian plants is the big issue in these negotiations, General Motors is a logical choice.

“There’s no pulling punches here; it’s a matter of recognizing where the biggest challenges are,” he says. “There is some type of recognition that GM should maintain a footprint here because slowly they’ve been exiting, and we don’t think that’s right.”

He points to billions of dollars invested by governments in past years.

Unifor is again calling on senior governments to step up to the plate to help secure auto investment, but Chiodo says even if they don’t have that assurance, an agreement can be reached.

“Can we get creative enough to be able to facilitate making that work? I believe so, but there has to be a willing participant on the other side of the table and in this particular instance, GM has to be willing to dance.”

Putting the focus on GM doesn’t mean Chiodo and his bargaining committee will get a break from negotiations, which has been ongoing since mid-August.

“The reality is, there’s still a lot of work to get done because me and [vice-president of the Fiat-Chrysler master bargaining committee Leon Rideout] do not leave the bargaining table,” says Chiodo. “We participate with the GM master bargaining committee, and so does Ford, to get through this whole process.”

Contracts for auto workers at General Motors, Ford Canada and Fiat-Chrysler expire September 19.