The CAMI Strike is Over

Michael Accardi
by Michael Accardi

After a month on the picket line, employees at GM’s CAMI assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, are heading back to work.

The agreement was ratified earlier today by Unifor Local 88, with 85.9 percent of CAMI’s 2,800 workers voting to accept the new four-year contract. 78.7 percent of the skilled trade workers were also in favor of the new terms. Production is set to resume at 7 p.m tonight, with the factory returning to full output by 11 p.m.

Job security was the major sticking point during contract talks. Unifor demanded GM name the plant as lead producer of the Equinox–which would mean CAMI would be the first to get additional work should more vehicles be needed, and the last to cut production in the event of a downturn–but ratified the new contract without such a promise.

However, according to Automotive News, the union does feel its gained job security through the new pension structure which will make it $100 million more costly for GM Canada to close the plant.

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Workers will also get a 4 percent pay bump, and $8,000 in lump-sum payments spread out over the four-year deal. All employees will also get a $6,000 performance bonus once the deal is official.

“The end result was not the result we were hoping for, it shows the true colors of GM,” Unifor Local 88 Chair Mike Van Boekel said in a statement to his members.

Last week, GM had threatened to ramp up production in Mexico if Unifor couldn’t agree to a new deal soon.

“The ratification of a new 4-year agreement between GM Canada and Unifor Local 88 at CAMI Assembly is welcome news for our company, employees and the community,” Steve Carlisle, president of GM Canada, said in a statement. “We have an outstanding new product at CAMI with the Chevrolet Equinox and I am confident that we will quickly pull together to continue to demonstrate to the world the outstanding productivity, innovation and quality that is synonymous with the CAMI workforce.”

A version of this story originally appeared on GM Inside News

Michael Accardi
Michael Accardi

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