GM warns Canadian union it could wind down striking SUV plant

Marco Green
October 12, 2017

The issue is escalating just as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discusses the North American Free Trade Deal with US and Mexican leaders.

General Motors has declared "war on Canada" by threatening to move more production of the Equinox sports utility vehicle from Ontario to Mexico, Unifor national president Jerry Dias said Thursday.

The government of Ontario urged General Motors Co and striking Canadian union workers on Thursday to immediately resolve a month-long strike at GM's plant after the US automaker threatened to move all production to Mexico. However, GM suggests that could change if Unifor doesn't throw in the towel soon.

"General Motors did declare war on Canada", Dias said, in a phone interview Thursday from Washington, D.C., where NAFTA trade talks are being held.

GM plans to study how quickly key suppliers to the Ontario Equinox plant could move their operations to accommodate a shift in the vehicle's production, a person familiar with the discussions said on Wednesday.

The plants will assemble the model for the North American market, according to United States Unifor representative Jerry Dias.

GM's decision to build the Equinox and Terrain in Mexico is a major issue in the contract dispute between the automaker and the Canadian union. "Once we solve this, everything else will fall into place".

"The message is very clear", Dias said.

"CAMI (the Ingersoll plant) is the poster child for what is wrong with North American Free Trade Agreement". The two GM Mexico plants are together projected to build 149,000 vehicles next year. With a shrinking 41-day supply of rolling stock at the end of last month, the facilities located south of the border can't produce an equivalent volume to the Canadian worksite.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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