Canadian Autoworkers Authorize Strikes Against Ford, GM, Chrysler
More than 90 Percent of Members Vote for Strike Authorization
The Canadian Auto Workers, the labor union representing more than 200,000 current workers and retirees employed by the Detroit Three, voted overwhelmingly for a strike authorization against General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, in the event that labor negotiations do not go in the workers' favor. To be clear, this is not a call for a formal strike, but authorization for a walk-out. Chrysler workers voted 99 percent in favor of the strike, GM workers 98 percent in favor, and Ford workers 97 percent in favor of the authorization.
Negotiations for upcoming labor agreements started the week of August 13, with all three of the automakers in Toronto. CAW president Ken Lewenza says the strike authorization vote is a vote of confidence in the CAW's respective bargaining committees representing each automakers' workers: "Our members support their bargaining committees and trust them to negotiate a fair settlement that shares in the success of the companies."
The Canadian Auto Workers union was formed following disagreements with the United Auto Workers as giving away too many concessions to automakers in contract negotiations, and the sentiment among many Canadian workers that they were under-represented at UAW conventions.
Chrysler has two major assembly plants in Canada. The Brampton, Ontario, plant produces the Dodge Charger and Challenger and Chrysler 300, and the Windsor, Ontario, plant which builds the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans.
Ford's only major remaining vehicle assembly plant in Canada is in Oakville, Ontario; it manufactures the Ford Edge and Flex and Lincoln MKX and MKT crossovers.
GM's two major manufacturing facilities in Canada are the CAMI automotive plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, which builds the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain, and the Oshawa Assembly plant, which builds the Buick Regal, Cadillac XTS, Chevrolet Impala, and Chevrolet Camaro.
Source: Canadian Auto Workers