"Everyone is kind of starting fresh here"
It comes as no surprise that the unionized workers at GM ratified their new deal with the car maker, with a resounding 85% approval.
That's because it means jobs.
1,700 of them in Oshawa, as the company announced a return to building vehicles in the plant that was essentially shuttered 11 months ago.
Unifor says the GM contract follows the pattern-setting deal first reached with Ford that includes five per cent increases to hourly rates, a $7,250 productivity and quality bonus, $4,000 in inflation protection bonuses, improved benefits, shift premiums, and restoration of a 20 per cent wage differential for skilled trades.
While the jobs are good news for the community, there is something that stuck out in the billion-dollar announcement: These may not be your grandfathers GM jobs anymore.
"Everyone is kind of starting fresh here," says David Patterson from GM. "We have some 300 people who are working in the plant already, and about 150 people who are currently on layoffs, so everyone fits into a different classification, under the terms of the contract, so that's what we'll follow.
Patterson says many of the people who used to work at the plant at the time it'd shut down, are no longer in the workforce.
"Over half of the hourly workers recieved their defined benefit pension, so they were able to retire with a good solid pension," says Patterson.
As for why the plant closed in the first place, Patterson didn't have specifics, only saying, "We had different factors that led to the need to make the change."
However, the jobs are solid and Patterson expects them to stay in the region for the foreseeable future.