As the strike at a key assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, heads into its second week, General Motors expects to lay off workers at other plants within the company’s North American manufacturing system.
“We are making production adjustments at three of our propulsion operations due to a labor dispute in Canada,” a GM spokeswoman said.
In addition to the engine plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee, a plant in Flint, Michigan, and a transmission plant in St. Catharines, Ontario, are planning some short-term layoffs, she said.
“But we are working to minimize the impact. We are not sharing details publicly and won’t speculate on how long the layoff will last,” the spokeswoman said, adding the layoffs are expected to start this week.
(GM cutting 1K jobs at Tennessee plant. For the story, Click Here.)
The strike began Sept. 17, after bargainers from GM and Unifor, the union representing some 3,000 workers at the Ingersoll plant, were unable to reach agreement on a new labor contract. The union is demanding GM put in writing guarantees that work now done in Ingersoll won’t be shifted to Mexico at any point in the future.
GM, which eliminated some 600 jobs at the Ontario plant in August as it shifted production of the GMC Terrain, has rebuffed the union’s demands.
(Click Here to see more about GM’s previous layoffs in Tennessee.)
The strike has shut down a significant part of GM’s production of one of Chevrolet’s most popular vehicles, the Equinox. It has been GM’s best-selling vehicle this year after the Chevrolet Silverado pickup.
Last year, Unifor won a commitment from GM that it would keep a plant in Oshawa, Ontario, open in part by shipping unfinished pickup bodies to that plant from Indiana. Workers in Oshawa would install interiors and perform final assembly of the vehicles.
(To see more about the negotiations between GM and Unifor, Click Here.)
The contract for CAMI workers has traditionally been separate from the other agreements Unifor has with the Detroit’s three auto makers because the Ingersoll originally operated as a joint venture between GM and Japanese automaker Suzuki.