Unifor strike at GM result of 'major philosophical differences'

GM Chevrolet Equinox SUVs Roll Off Production Line In Wuhan

The Equinox also is built in Mexico and the Ingersoll walkout occurred Sunday at 10:59 p.m. after talks between Unifor and GM over future product commitments broke down.

This is the first strike at a Canadian assembly plant since 1996 when Unifor's forerunner, the Canadian Auto Workers, held a three-week walkout at GM.

Equinox sales soared 85 per cent last month in the United States, which is the destination for about 85 per cent of the vehicles made at Cami.

GM moved production of the GMC Terrain from the plant to Mexico earlier this year, Bloomberg said. Unifor has argued that the move led to 600 layoffs, and is now seeking new investments in the plant and better wages.

GM assembles the 2018 Equinox at CAMI as well as at two Mexico facilities - Ramos Arizpe and San Luis Potosi, both of which are running normally, spokesman Jim Cain told Cars.com.

The Cami assembly plant produces the second-generation Equinox SUV. "They can't make a unilateral decision to take away the Terrain and lay off hundreds of people and be naive enough to think we won't have a reaction".

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"We encourage Unifor to resume negotiations and to continue working together to secure a competitive agreement", GM Canada said in a statement.

Although the strike deadline has passed, Van Boekel says if GM wants to continue negotiations, they'll be available.

Dias has pushed for higher working standards in the US and Mexico during current negotiations over changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement, Bloomberg said.

The Ontario plant falls under a different contract than the four-year deal inked last year for GM's other Canadian factories. US sales have gained 17 percent to 185,223 units this year through August, while Canadian sales have jumped 40 percent to 16,956 units at the same time. GM dealers had about 53 days' worth of Equinox crossovers in stock as of September 1, down from 74 days a month earlier, according to data from Automotive News.

Dias said it is crucial for the union to secure investments now, as the USA auto market is just beginning to decline and while Canadian sales continue to rise. Like the U.S., Canada has lost automotive manufacturing jobs to Mexico in recent decades. The redesigned Equinox is a hot-seller in today's SUV-centric environment and the vast majority of them are supplied by CAMI.

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