Union: Two sides remain far apart in GM CAMI strike in Ingersoll, Ont.

INGERSOLL, Ont. — The union representing about 2,500 striking workers at GM’s CAMI assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ont., says the two sides remain far apart on job security and economic issues.

The members of Unifor Local 88 walked off the job Sept. 17 as negotiators worked to have GM designate the plant as the lead producer of the Equinox SUV, which is also produced at two plants in Mexico.

The union says it has been meeting with the automaker daily since Sept. 27 and have “worked through a lot of the contract language” but is awaiting a response from GM on the outstanding issues.

Unifor says the two sides have agreed to pause the talks over the long holiday weekend and reconvene next Tuesday, but will be ready to resume bargaining “at a moment’s notice” should GM respond sooner.

GM Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the ongoing negotiations.

Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid said Friday that he had spoken with both GM Canada President Stephen Carlisle and Unifor President Jerry Dias in the last 48 hours.

Neither had asked for government support to keep the Equinox lines in Ontario, he said, while urging both parties to reach an agreement.

“I know they’re working very hard and I hope they’ll be working over the weekend to find a resolution to this collective bargaining dispute,” Duguid said. “It is rippling through our supply chain economy in Ontario.”

Last Sunday, Dias dismissed GM’s latest contract offer as “fluff,” saying it still allows the company to shift its resources away from the Ingersoll plant.

He said the union will not back any deals unless they’re confident that more jobs won’t be shifted to Mexican plants.

Dias said pre-strike production at Ingersoll was 400,000 vehicles but had since dropped to 190,000 vehicles.

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