St. Catharines GM employees could be back to work by Oct. 28 if American deal is ratified

GM Glendale

GM workers in St. Catharines will be eagerly watching as American GM union members vote on a tentative deal.

Voting starts tomorrow and is expected to last until next Friday.

If union members give the thumbs up to the deal, it would end the strike that has been going on for more than a month.

The strike has had a significant impact north of the border, with many workers at the St. Catharines plant on temporary layoff.

Unifor Local 199 President Greg Brady gives a timeline for when employees might return to work if everything goes well. "I expect if this is ratified as early as next Friday that the majority of our members would be back on the 28th." He adds, "We have parts to machine for our V8 assembly so the machining lines would start up right away and that would get enough product for the assembly line to start on the Monday."

But Brady does caution there is still some bitterness over GM plants that will not be saved by the deal.

Some of the highlights in the tentative four year contract include a wage increase, signing bonus, and early retirement incentives, but GM would proceed with closing factories in Ohio, Michigan, and near Baltimore.

Officials with the United Auto Workers are recommending union members ratify the agreement.