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Auto union to announce target company as labour negotiations heat up

Last Updated Sep 8, 2020 at 2:14 am MDT

Unifor national president Jerry Dias attends a press conference in Toronto, on May 8, 2019. Dias will announce Tuesday which Detroit Three automaker will be selected to establish the pattern bargaining agreement, which is traditionally used as a template for deals with the other companies. The union has set a Sept. 21 strike deadline to reach a deal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

TORONTO — Unifor will reveal today which of the Detroit Three automakers will guide labour union negotiations ahead of a strike deadline later this month.

Unifor National President Jerry Dias will make the announcement at 11 a.m. eastern time in Toronto, as the country’s largest private-sector union pushes for commitments that new products will be made at Canadian plants, especially electric vehicles.

The union will target one of Fiat Chrysler, Ford Motor Co. or General Motors Co., and focus on negotiating with that company until its strike deadline on Sept. 21 at 11:59 p.m.

The goal is for the union to use the target company’s deal as a pattern for agreements with the other two manufacturers on issues such as wages, pensions and benefits.

The talks, which take place every four years, come as Ford employees face expiring product lines in Oakville, Ont., while Fiat Chrysler workers have seen shift cuts in Windsor, Ont. and Brampton, Ont.

Unifor says it will target the company that offers the best prospects of job security to workers, and that if no deal is reached, workers have voted to support a potential strike.

This report by the Canadian Press was first published Sept. 8, 2020.

The Canadian Press