CAMI union watches U.S. GM strike closely

The CAMI Automotive plant is seen in Ingersoll, Ont. on Monday, Sept. 16, 2019. (Sean Irvine / CTV London)

With the United Autoworkers Union in the U.S. on strike against General Motors, there is worry the strike may have an impact on GM’s Canadian operations.

A union leader at Ingersoll’s Cami Automotive says they are in support of the UAW fight against GM.

The 2,400 unionized workers at the facility are familiar with strikes. Their five-week battle with GM in 2017 was contentious, but ultimately led to a new agreement.

The latter is what Unifor Local 88 President Joe Graves hopes will happen with the UAW in their strike against GM.

However, the strike may impact production at CAMI, Graves learned at a meeting Monday morning.

“It will be status quo this week. We have enough parts this week, possibly next week. The company will be talking to the parts suppliers,” he says.

At this point, beyond the two weeks, it’s hard to predict what impact a potentially lengthy UAW strike could have in Canada.

On the other side of the coin, successful negotiations will be closely watched by Unifor leaders.

For his part, Graves says any gains will be potential considerations once a new contract is negotiated for CAMI workers in September of next year.

He’ll also be looking to ensure the UAW talks do not make gains at the expense of CAMI workers.

Graves also says, if called upon, he’d anticipate Canadian UNIFOR members will support UAW strike activities.

Key issues in the U.S., said to remain on the table, include wages and the future of several recently shuttered plants.