Car News

GM Warns CAMI Plant Could Close if Strike Continues

General Motors warned Unifor leaders yesterday that if the ongoing strike at GM's CAMI plant continued, GM would start to wind down production at the facility.

The strike at the Ingersoll, ON, plant that builds the Chevrolet Equinox started September 17th. About 2,500 workers walked off the job there, after a failure to come to an agreement on a new contract.

When the strike began, Unifor President Jerry Dias said that the two sides have "major philosophical differences" over the future of the plant. Workers are concerned that GM would move production of the popular Equinox compact crossover to plants in Mexico. GM already moved production of the 2018 GMC Terrain to those Mexican plants, which lead to the layoff of around 400 CAMI workers. Unifor wanted a commitment to having the Ontario plant designated as the lead plant for Equinox. Dias said GM won't make that commitment.

Jerry Dias told Reuters yesterday that GM officials said they would begin increasing production of the Equinox in Mexico if the walkout was not called off. That could make the Ontario facility no longer necessary for GM.

"GM just told us today that they are going to ramp up production in Mexico," Unifor President Jerry Dias told Reuters. "They have declared war on Canada.

The report says that GM is planning to study how to move other Ontario supplier operations to accommodate the production move.

Dias said that he won't be calling off the strike, saying "this is the big issue. Once we solve this, everything else will fall into place."