Canada’s auto union reached a tentative agreement with General Motors Co. that the labor group says secures production, saves jobs and stems a wave of investment to cheaper locations such as Mexico.
GM will invest C$400 million ($300 million) to upgrade its flex line and build a new vehicle in Oshawa, Ontario, and C$120 million in its engine and transmission plant in St. Catharines, Ontario, according to a person familiar with the deal. The investment would render Oshawa the only plant in North America to build both trucks and cars, easing fears of potential closure in 2019, said Jerry Dias, president of Unifor. The agreement would also stabilize the future of St. Catharines by moving work from Mexico, he said.
“Today’s announcement really turns the tide of what has transpired in the auto industry in this country for over a decade,” Dias said at a press conference in Toronto after a deal was reached early Tuesday, avoiding a strike.
GM will work with the government on potential support and provide further details on the investment after respecting Unifor’s ratification process, Jennifer Wright, a spokeswoman for the Detroit-based automaker, said in an e-mailed statement. Representatives for the union and GM declined to comment on the amount of investment.
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