The talks are far from over, but Unifor president Jerry Dias says they will not concede defeat to General Motors in the CAMI labour dispute.
More than 2,000 striking automotive workers gathered in front of the CAMI Ingersoll Plant to hear from their Unifor president and chair of Unifor Local 88, Mike Van Boekel.
Proceedings began just shortly after 11 a.m. on Sunday, with Mike Van Boekel reading a letter sent by General Motors to the master bargaining team on their most recent discussions.
Unifor President Jerry Dias stepped up to the mic, offering words of solidarity to the concerned workers on strike.
“Ultimately, the reason they won’t give us the security we ask for, is because when the market inevitably dips, they want to eliminate jobs here and give them to Mexico. But I tell all of you here today, we are not going to let that happen,” said Dias.
Dias tells AM980 that the ongoing labour dispute has superseded a regular labour dispute.
“This is really about Canadian jobs and American jobs migrating to Mexico, because quite frankly, the Mexican industrial strategy exploits its citizens. NAFTA is playing out here today in Ingersoll and we need to fix it.”
Dias adds that he thinks it is the best plant in the world despite losing 500 jobs, and believes the production quality of their plant is the main reason why General Motors is hesitant to pull the plug on the workers.
The strike began when members of Unifor Local 88 walked out on Sept. 17 as negotiators worked to have General Motors designate the plant as the lead producer of the Equinox sport utility vehicle.
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