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General Motors reaches tentative agreement at its Ontario CAMI plant

Last Updated Oct 13, 2017 at 10:04 pm EDT

Employees of the GM CAMI assembly factory stand on the picket line in Ingersoll, Ont., on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. General Motors says a tentative agreement has been reached with its striking workers at the company's Intersoll, Ont., plant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley

General Motors reached a tentative deal with the striking workers at its CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ont., on Friday.

Few details of the pacts were provided by the company or Unifor, the union whose membership will later hold a vote on ratifying the agreement.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne issued a statement welcoming the tentative deal and expressing hope it would result in an end to the four-week-old strike.

“The impact of this job action was being felt throughout Ontario’s auto supply chain and we know that a possible end to this work stoppage will be greeted with appreciation and relief by everyone involved,” said the joint statement from Wynne and Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid.

The deal came a day after GM told Unifor that it might shift more production to Mexico if the strike didn’t end soon.

Unifor president Jerry Dias accused the company on Thursday of declaring war on the Ingersoll workers, but the company said it had little choice but to look at alternatives for the strikebound Ontario plant.

A statement from Unifor made no direct reference to GM’s threat but union president Jerry Dias appeared to touch on the issue.

“This strike has shown all of Canada why a renewed North American Free Trade Agreement must address the needs of working people first,” Dias said in the statement posted on the union’s website.

“These members have shown incredible courage and strength by standing up for good jobs and a secure future for their families and their community.”

On Thursday, Dias complained about GM adding plants in Mexico while closing facilities in Canada and the U.S. and accused the automaker of exploiting lower-paid Mexican workers.
Job security was identified as a major issue in the talks.

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