GM agreed to keep the Oshawa Ontario plant open and shift some engine production from Mexico to Canada. As Fred Katayama reports, the union conceded on its retirement plan.
GM workers in Canada won't go on strike. The Canadian autoworkers union reached a tentative agreement with General Motors early Tuesday morning on a new four-year contract. The deal resolves the biggest point of contention for the union: the Oshawa, Ontario plant. The union, Unifor, says the agreement will keep that car plant open and make it capable of producing trucks as well as cars. Unifor National President Jerry Dias said, "The commitment to Oshawa is hundreds of millions of dollars, therefore our fear of a closure in 2019 is now over." The union also got GM to agree to shift some engine production from Mexico to its St. Catherines plant near Niagara Falls. And it said GM will boost wages for existing employees. The union made a concession on its retirement plan, agreeing to a pure defined contribution plan in which GM would put in a fixed contribution toward its workers' health insurance expenses. Veteran workers currently have defined benefit pensions. Once ratified, Unifor typically uses the first agreement - in this case with GM - as a blueprint for negotiating with Ford and Fiat Chrysler.