Unifor Prepares To Hit The Picket Line

Durham, ON, Canada / channel12

Unifor representatives are preparing for a possible work stoppage as early as next week at GM Oshawa, Joe Scarpelli has the story.

“We’re just going to man our strike lines and prevent General Motors from coming on the property and doing business while we’re on strike.”

Jeremy Pooler is the strike co-ordinator for the  possible work stoppage at GM.  He says he already has members signed up to picket next week, and a strike is a very real possibility, with the two sides far apart on one major issue.   The union says there will be no deal if GM doesn’t agree to produce new product in Oshawa.  Unifor Local 222 president Colin James says the two sides are still far apart.

“The company is sticking to its position that will not give product until bargaining is over.”

GM officials will not comment on a possible strike but  say they want to reach a deal that’s fair for both sides.

“We remain focused on working with Unifor to reach a mutually beneficial and competitive new agreement,” said Jennifer Wright.

Union members working the picket line will earn 250 dollars for the week.

Jeremy Pooler says, “It’s not what we’re used to making but it will keep some food on the table…keep us alive until we get an agreement.”

UAW, the union representing American workers says it will support Canada’s unionized auto workers.

“That’s very, very key.”

According to union organizer Joel Smith, the American organization has the option to do business elsewhere if components the U.S. relies on are not being produced in Canada during a strike.

“UAW has indicated that they’re not going to do that so that gives us a good feeling.”

The last time the union went on strike against the automaker was in 1996.   The current contract expires at midnight September 19th.

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