After months of negotiations and public campaigns to keep GM in Oshawa, it seems like Unifor’s tactics have paid off. An 11th hour deal was reached just moments before the midnight strike deadline.
Jerry Dias, “We are here to announce the framework of tentative agreement with General Motors.”
Thirty minutes after the strike deadline passed Unifor Canada President Jerry Dias walked into a hotel room crowded with reporters to make the announcement that not only GM workers were waiting for but the entire community of Durham Region.
Oshawa Mayor John Henry “Last night I was up I was awake I was watching I was so happy when the announcement came along, it is a really amazing sign for this community.”
Leading up to the announcement there was fear in the community that the GM facility in Oshawa could close in 2019.
Oshawa Mayor John Henry “The lead up to last night’s announcement hurt our economy, people tend not to spend money if they are worried about going out on strike.”
Gerry Dias “The fear of closing in 2019 is now over.”
The two sides signed a deal just minutes before the strike deadline Monday evening.
Going into negotiations Unifor said they would not sign a deal unless product was guaranteed to the Oshawa plant that saw closures and thousands of layoffs over the last decade.
Colin James “Our number one demand was product, and we got that. Our committee is pretty exstatic, our members our ecstatic that we have a future.”
The tentative agreement will bring new products to Oshawa’s flex assembly plant. A ratification vote on the agreement — which will act as a pattern for Unifor contract talks with Ford and Fiat Chrysler will be held on Sunday.