Unifor today said it would hold a news conference on Thursday to provide an update on the status of negotiations with General Motors in Canada, putting the talks on a timetable similar to previous bargaining sessions with Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

The news conference, set for 11 a.m. ET Thursday at a downtown Toronto hotel, will come after a strike deadline set for 11:59 p.m. ET Wednesday. Negotiations were continuing in Toronto on Tuesday as the deadline approached.

Unifor also held news conferences the day after the strike deadline in its negotiations with Ford and FCA. A deal with Ford was reached several hours after the original deadline passed in September, while a tentative contract with FCA was reached shortly before that deadline in October.

The talks cover about 1,600 union members in Canada, most of them working at GM’s St. Catharines, Ontario, powertrain plant, which builds engines and transmissions for various models. The negotiations also cover the company’s former assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario, now home to a smaller stamping operation, and a parts distribution center in Woodstock, Ontario.

Voicemails left for several union leaders, including Unifor President Jerry Dias, were not returned Tuesday. A Unifor spokeswoman did not provide any further comment beyond confirmation of the Thursday news conference.

When asked for comment, a spokeswoman for GM Canada referred Automotive News Canada to a previous statement about the negotiations and said the company would not offer further comment at this time.

“GM Canada remains focused on reaching a new fair, flexible agreement for the 1,600 represented employees” in Oshawa, St. Catharines and Woodstock, the statement reads. 

Unifor will seek to pattern the GM contract off of the ones it recently reached with Ford and FCA. Those contracts included a reduction in the wage grow-in period for new hires from 10 years down to eight and several bonuses and wage increases, among other provisions. The automakers also agreed to more than $3 billion in combined investments in their Canadian operations, including for electric-vehicle assembly.

The talks do not cover CAMI Assembly in Ingersoll, Ontario, which is on a separate contract that ends in 2021. CAMI builds GM’s Chevrolet Equinox crossover.



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