Unifor members not involved in negotiations on a new contract between the union and General Motors Co. are gearing up to help battle the company in the event of a strike.
Leaders of Unifor Local 88 at GM's Cami assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ont., say components produced in GM's St. Catharines, Ont., propulsion plant are installed on Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossovers, but similar parts made by other suppliers won't be installed on those by Unifor members vehicles if there is a strike.
Replacement parts made by other suppliers will be treated as "hot cargo" and won't be handled or installed by Unifor members at Cami, Local 88 president Dan Borthwick and Cami plant chair Mike Van Boekel said in a letter to Cami plant manager Gary Duff.
"Unifor Local 88 respectfully request that you and the management team of GM Cami Ingersoll assembly plant put some needed pressure on GM headquarters both in Canada and the United States to come to a quick and fair resolution to the current negotiations," the union leaders said in the letter. "It has come to our attention that GM Cami Ingersoll has contingency plans in place in the event the current Unifor-GM negotiations result in a work stoppage."
Cami workers are covered by a different collective agreement than the one now being negotiated between GM and Unifor, which covers about 4,000 workers at St. Catharines, an assembly plant in Oshawa, Ont. and a parts depot in Woodstock, Ont.
The collective agreement covering Cami workers expires next year.
The negotiations between GM and Unifor locals in Oshawa, St. Catharines and Woodstock are heading toward a strike deadline Monday evening.
Union officials said Thursday there has been little progress in bargaining, notably on the key demand from the union that the company agree to new investment in St. Catharines and allocate new vehicles to the assembly plant in Oshawa. The cars and crossovers being made in Oshawa now are scheduled to go out of production by 2019 and no replacement vehicles have been earmarked for the two assembly lines at the plant.
About 2,400 Unifor members work at the Oshawa plant.