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Canadian Auto Workers Strike Deal with GM

by | October 10, 2023

Just over 12 hours after walking off the job, Unifor reached a tentative deal with General Motors, the second of the three automakers the union is negotiating with. The two sides couldn’t get it done yesterday, and 4,300 workers then walked off their posts.

GM's St. Catharines Propulsion line

GM Canada hourly workers are back on the line after reaching a tentative deal.


General Motors hourly workforce in Canada apparently made its point, just 12 hours after going on strike the automaker hammered out a deal with Unifor, the union representing the workers.

“This record agreement, subject to member ratification, recognizes the many contributions of our represented team members with significant increases in wages, benefits and job security while building on GM’s historic investments in Canadian manufacturing,” the company said in a statement.

The 4,300 workers at three facilities marched off the line just after midnight, shutting down the Oshawa Assembly Complex and CCA Stamped Products, St. Catharines Powertrain Plant and Woodstock Parts Distribution Centre.

GM Oshawa Assembly sign REL

The 4,300 hourly workers were on strike for about 12 hours before the deal was struck.

However, they’ve headed back to work for the afternoon shift while the final details are readied for a final ratification vote expected in the next few days.

“It is thanks to the solidarity of you, the members, that it was possible to move General Motors to accept the pattern to the letter, including all items that company had initial fought us on such as pensions, retiree income supports and converting full-time temporary workers into permanent employees over the life of the agreement,” the union said in a statement.

Following the pattern

The strike came about, according to Unifor, because GM was unwilling to follow the pattern from the union’s deal with Ford Motor Co. Ford was the union’s strike target, approving a new deal last month after averting a strike with an extension.

The Canadian workers are seeking many of the same things their American counterparts are currently engaging in a series of walkout strikes to secure. Currently, there is no agreement with any of the automakers in the U.S.

Lana Payne GM strike

Unifor’s chief Lana Payne said GM needed to follow the pattern agreement.

The highlights of the new agreement include:

  • Base hourly wage increases of nearly 20% for production and 25% for Skilled Trades over the lifetime of agreement.
  • By the end of the three-year agreement, a top-rate production assembler will be paid $44.52 per hour, in addition to a forecasted $1.61 cost of living allowance (a total of $46.13); a journeyperson skilled trades worker will be paid $55.97 per hour, in addition to a forecasted $1.61 cost of living allowance (a total of $57.58).
  • General wage increases in each year of the agreement with 10% in year one, 2% in year two and 3% in year three.
  • Reactivation of the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) in December 2024.
  • Wage progression reduced from 8 to 4 years.
  • Start rate for Temporary Part Time and production workers increasing from $24.26 to $29.67/hr., further increasing to $30.26 within 12 months, and $31.16 by the end of the agreement.
  • The conversion of all full-time temporary workers, with at least one year of seniority at ratification, to permanent status.
  • At Oshawa Assembly, the company has agreed to eliminate the use of the full-time temporary classification by Aug. 1, 2026.
Unifor GM strike 2023 one

The union’s core pattern includes demands on pensions, support for retirees and permanent jobs for full-time temporary part-time workers.

  • $10,000 Productivity and Quality bonus for full-time employees (including current temporary full-time) as well as $4,000 for Temporary Part Time.
  • Improvements to all pension plans.
  • Mandatory company contributions to the DC plan increase from 4% to 7%.
  • Defined Contribution plan members will transition to a new Defined Benefits style pension for current plan members and all new hires on Jan. 1, 2025.
  • New quarterly payment unique to Canadian retirees, called the Universal Health Care Allowance. These quarterly payments will continue in each year of the 3-year agreement.
  • Two new additional paid holidays: Family Day and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Details on the ratification process will be sent via email with meetings to be scheduled in the coming days. A master bargaining brochure and a local bargaining brochure with details specific to all General Motors facilities will be made available in advance of those meetings.


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