Dec 2, 2016
Vol 4 No 24


Nov 17, 2016
Vol 4 No 23


Don Farquharson
Passes Away
November 10, 2016


Ford Unifor
2016 Contract


Canadian Ford
workers ratify
new contract


Union declares
success with
Ford deal


Unifor, Ford Reach
Tentative Agreement


Ford Reports Adjusted
Third Quarter Pre-Tax
Profit of $1.4 Billion
$10.2 Billion for 2016


Vol 4 No 21
Oct 21 2016


Fiat / Chrysler Canada
Contract Brochure
Octber 2016


FCA workers
vote in favour
of new deal;
Ford next


Passes Away
Oct 11, 2016


Unifor, Fiat Chrysler
reach tentative deal
moments before
strike deadline


Knights Table
Food Drive


Oct 6, 2016
Vol 4 No 20


Retired autoworkers
from Brampton host
Thanksgiving food drive


GM Brochure

GM Contract


Vol 4 No 19
Sept 23, 2016


of GM deal,
Unifor eyes
talks with


Unifor 2016
Auto talks
Sept 22, 2016


GM deal good
news for Ford's
Windsor engine
plants, says union


GM, Canada
auto union reach
tentative deal,
averting strike


Unifor 2016
Auto talks
Sept 18, 2016


Unifor 2016
Auto talks
Sept 15, 2016


Sept 10, 2016
Vol 4 No 18


Unifor picks
GM as target
in Canadian
contract talks


Vol 4 No17
Sept 2, 2016


Union votes
for strike
mandate in
contract talks
with auto


Aug 12, 2016
Vol 4 No 16


Canadian auto
industry at 'crossroads'
ahead of labour talks


Congratulations to
Ted Froll Retired
Aug 1, 2016


Vol 4 No 15
July 28, 2016


Auto makers
and governments
must invest in
the long game


Investment in
Canadian auto
sector key,
union says


July 15, 2016
Vol 4 No 14


Ford says meeting
union demand for
Windsor investment
a challenge


How labour
regained its
clout in Ottawa


Vol 4 No 13
June 30, 2016


agreement in
principle for
CPP reform


Vol 4 No 12
June 17, 2016


Local 584
Protests At
TPP Rally


Vol 4 No 11
June 5, 2016


Retiree Al Varey
Passes Away
May 20, 2016


Vol 4 No 10
May 19, 2016


VOL 4 NO. 9
May 7, 2015


FCA retirees
demand return of
COLA in upcoming
contract talks


April 21. 2016
Vol 4 No 8


Vol 4 No 7
April 8, 2016


Vol 4 No 6
March 24, 2016


Vol 4 No 5
March 10, 2016


Our Newest
March 1, 2016


Vol 4 No 4
Feb 25, 2016


Vol 4 No 3
Feb 14, 2016


Credit Union
Going Cashless
April 1, 2016

Tellers Let go!


Jan 15, 2016
Vol 4 No 1


Don White
Passes Away

Feb 29, 2016


Merv Davia
Passes Away
March 8, 2016


Ford-UAW workers
to get $9,300
total in profit sharing


Ford earns
$7.4B in
2015, posts
record profit


Vol 4 No 2
Jan 28, 2016


Ontario freezes
hospital parking
rates, offers






























































































































































































































































































































































































































Don Farquharson
Passes Away
November 10, 2016


1924 - 2016

Donald Farquharson
Retired December 1, 1988
24.4 Years

It is with deep regret that we inform you of the passing of
Retiree Don Farquharson on Thursday November 10, 2016.

Our deepest condolences go out to the Farquharson Family.

These are the Funeral arrangements:

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm Monday, November 14, 2016
Thorne Funeral Home "Sunderland Chapel"
98 River Street
Sunderland, Ontario, Canada
L0C 1H0
 Map and Directions

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Egan Funeral Home
203 Queen Street South
Bolton, Ontario, Canada
Map & Directions

Obituary of Donald Farquharson

(Veteran WW II. Retired from Canadian National Rail and the Ford Motor Company)

Peacefully, on Thursday, November 10, 2016 at the Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay, at age 92. Donald Farquharson, beloved husband of the late Violet (nee Crocker). Loved father of Jim (Maureen), Debbie McClure (Barry) and Mary Gardner (Dave). Devoted grandfather of Jennifer (Greg), Jacquie, Bryan (Chisato), Trevor (Erin), Emily (Tyler), Kevin and Beverly and great grandfather of Shanna, Emma, Arianna, Hiyori and Ella.

The family of Donald Farquharson will receive friends at the Thorne Funeral Home, 98 River Street in Sunderland (705-357-3144) on Monday, November 14th from 1 - 3 p.m. and then at the Egan Funeral Home, 203 Queen Street South in Bolton (905-857-2213) on Tuesday, November 15th from 1 - 3 p.m. Followed by interment at Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bolton. If desired, memorial donations may be made by cheque to the charity of your choice. Memories, photos and condolences may be shared at www.thornefuner





Canadian Ford workers
ratify new contract

Ford was the last of the big
three automakers to ratify
a contract with its employees

Thomson Reuters
Nov 07, 2016

Canadian workers at Ford Motor Co. voted to approve a new four-year contract with the automaker, the Unifor union said on Sunday, wrapping up months of contract talks.

The union said in a release that 58 per cent of the 6,700 unionized workers voted to approve the deal, but Oakville local president Dave Thomas said only 45 per cent of members at his unit supported the agreement.

"Bargaining is always tough, but reaching this contract was no small feat," said Chris Taylor, who chaired the union's Ford bargaining committee, in a release.

Talks kicked off in August between Unifor and General Motors Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ford. Workers approved contracts at GM and Fiat Chrysler in September and October.

The labour agreements each promise hundreds of millions in new investment in the automakers' Canadian operations, in some cases contingent on government support.

The Ford contract closely resembles the GM and Fiat Chrysler agreements, and covers workers at Ford's Windsor, Ont., engine plants and some office and warehouse employees in Windsor and Edmonton as well as Oakville, Ont., assembly workers.

Workers will get $12,000 in bonus payments over four years, and two per cent raises in the first and fourth years of the agreement.

Investment in Canadian operations

Ford has promised to invest $713 million in its Canadian operations, including $613 million in Windsor, the union said in a pamphlet distributed ahead of the vote. The investment will update production of a V8 engine and add assembly of a new fuel-efficient motor for large pickup trucks, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

But the deal maintains a 10-year wage progression for new hires that is unpopular with some Ford workers, especially in Oakville. It also includes a significant concession on pensions, offering new hires a defined contribution pension plan, instead of a plan that guarantees some benefits no matter how pension investments perform.

In a public letter and interview in early October, Thomas said a deal similar to the one approved at GM would likely be rejected in Oakville, where 5,000 of the union's nearly 7,000 Ford employees work. But ahead of the vote, he and other local union leaders endorsed the tentative contract.

The union practices pattern bargaining, selecting one of the three automakers to negotiate with first, and then insisting rivals agree to broadly similar deals.

Ahead of bargaining, union leaders said securing new investment would be their top priority in talks.

Separately on Sunday, Unifor members at Magna International's Integram seating unit rejected a tentative agreement, triggering a strike

Unifor Ford Ratification Results 58% Ratified

Election Results by Location

Windsor 89% in Favour
Edmonton  76% in Favour
Bramalea 60% in Favour
Oakville 45%  in Favour Production
(Oakville Trades  120 in Favour 110 Against)

Unifor, Ford Reach
Tentative Agreement

CBC News
Nov 1, 2016

Jerry Dias, president of Unifor, says his negotiating group is unanimously recommending a tentative labour agreement reached late Monday with Ford Motor Co.

The announcement was made just before 12:30 a.m. ET Tuesday, or about a half-hour after a strike deadline had been put in place.

The union representing about 6,700 Canadian workers at Ford had said there had been "movement" in negotiations at an earlier update.

Unifor had threatened job action at its Ford facilities in the Ontario cities of Bramalea, Oakville and Windsor if a deal wasn't reached.

Unifor was seeking a deal similar to those it reached with General Motors and Fiat Chrysler America in pattern bargaining that began in the summer. Those deals included wage hikes and new investment in local plants in exchange for some concessions on pensions for new hires.

Dias, in his early remarks, hailed a new program for the Essex Engine Plant.

There hasn't been a strike by Canadian workers at a Detroit Three automaker since 1996.

Added released details:

Ford deal gives Ford workers monetary gains over and above pattern.

Essex engine plant getting a $700M investment.

Windsor engine plants will be building engines for 'best-selling vehicles'.

Oakville is 'primary sole supplier' of vehicles built at assembly plant

Ford plans to discontinue Ford Flex in 2020, says Unifor's Bob Scott..

Pension and New hire grow- in stays the same as GM and Fiat contracts

Some "refresh" investments in the Oakville assembly plant to support the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers.

Unifor Media Release



FCA workers vote in favour
of new deal; Ford next

Grace Macaluso,
Windsor Star
October 17, 2016

Unifor members employed by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have voted 70.1 per cent overall in favour of a new agreement with the company.

The result came on Sunday night after ratification votes were held over the weekend for approximately 9,750 union members in Windsor, Brampton and Toronto.

Dino Chiodo, president of Unifor Local 444, whose members work at the Windsor Assembly Plant, said he was pleased by the result.

"There's a lot of relief that comes with getting a ratification behind you," Chiodo said. "I think our members … understand the dollars and cents that were put into their pocket over the course of this collective agreement, with the securities that were put into place.

"It's not perfect for everybody, but it does connect with a lot of the components that our members were hoping and asking for."

Asked if he expected a higher percentage in favour of the hard-fought deal, Chiodo replied: "Listen, this is a measuring stick. When you think about it, it's seven out of 10 people. That's a pretty good number in my books."

Patterned after the contract reached with General Motors last month, the deal includes monetary gains for both veteran workers and new hires. Veteran workers receive a four-per cent wage increase over the life of the agreement — the first general wage hike in nine years — and $12,000 in lump sum and signing bonuses.

New hires also receive the bonuses as well as wage hikes in each year of a 10-year pay grid toward the maximum hourly rate of $35.78. Under the previous contract, new hires remained at the starting hourly rate of about $20.42 for the first three years.

The deal also includes a company pledge to invest $325 million to rebuild the paint shop at FCA's Brampton assembly plant, which employs about 3,500 workers who build the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Challenger and Charger sedans. Unifor national president Jerry Dias has said the paint shop upgrade, to begin next summer, is key to securing future product for the plant.

"It is possible an alternative product, which could include an existing platform or entirely new vehicle architecture, could occur during the term of the collective agreement," a summary of the deal said.

At FCA's Etobicoke casting facility, which employs about 400 hourly workers, the union secured $6.4 million in plant upgrades, although it failed to prevent the layoffs of up to 200 hourly workers as a result of the carmaker's decision to cease production of the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 sedans.

Unifor now turns its attention toward reaching a contract with Ford Motor Co. Securing investment for the two Windsor engine plants will be the focus of those talks, which affect 1,400 hourly employees in Windsor and 5,000 at the Oakville vehicle assembly plant, said Chris Taylor, president of Unifor Local 200 and the chair of the union's Ford master bargaining committee.

"The key priority is product for Windsor; we are in desperate need of product," said Taylor, noting that in 2014, Ford chose Mexico over Windsor for a new engine program.

"We're not going to leave bargaining this year with anything less than a product committed to this site."

The deadline for the Ford negotiations is Oct. 31, and Taylor said he expects the talks to go down to the wire. "I've never seen a company that didn't want to take it down to the wire, and try to get as much out of us as they can," he said. "We're not willing to leave anything on the table because we want to take the opportunity to get the best possible agreement."

The negotiations, however, are already mired in controversy amid the Oakville union's opposition to the GM pattern agreement. Dave Thomas, president of Local 707, has informed both Ford and Unifor's national leadership that his members will vote down a tentative deal similar to the GM agreement.

When asked whether winning over the Oakville members would prove to be tougher than extracting a product commitment from Ford, Taylor said reaching a tentative deal would be the bigger challenge.

"We are still in need of product, and they haven't come out with that yet. So, bargaining with the company by far is going to be our biggest challenge," he said. "As for the membership and leadership in Oakville, I believe once we get together on this thing and actually start bargaining with Ford … I think things will change."

Back in Windsor, Chiodo said he wasn't really surprised by the fact that Unifor's negotiations with FCA came down to the wire. "I think bargaining is trying to do the best that you can — us for our membership, and management for the company."

"This (pattern deal) is something that really stabilizes our economy in each of the cities that we have these manufacturing plants. This allows our members to have job security — to start to buy houses, have mortgages, actually plan their lives. It puts the expendable cash in their pockets to do the things they need to do as a family."


George Howard Honcharsky

July 16, 1934 -  October 11, 2016


At Trillium Health Partners - Mississauga Hospital on Tuesday, October 11, 2016. Beloved husband of Ida for many years. Loving father of Marion (Raymond Robbins), David, Richard (Elaine), and John. Dearest papa of Kevin (Jenna) Ketteringham, Katie, Julia, and Meghan. Dearest great-papa to Avaya. Retired employee of the Ford Motor Company for 35 years. The family would like to thank the doctors and nurses at the Trillium Health Partners - Mississauga for their care and kindness. For those who wish donations can be made to The Salvation Army or Trillium Health Partners - Mississauga would be greatly appreciated by the family. Visitation will be held at The Salvation Army Mississauga Temple on Friday, October, 21, 2016 from 7 - 9 p.m. The Honcharsky family will receive guests on Sunday, October 23, 2016 from 2 p.m. at The Salvation Army Temple, 3173 Cawthra Rd., Mississauga, until the time of the Celebration of Life Service at 3 p.m. Online condolences at:




Unifor, Fiat Chrysler reach
tentative deal moments
before strike deadline

CBC News
Toronto Star
Detroit News
October 11. 2016

With just five minutes to go before the midnight deadline, Unifor, the union representing about 9,750 workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' facilities in Ontario, announced the two sides had reached a tentative agreement.

The union had threatened job action if it could not secure a new deal with the automaker similar to one negotiated with General Motors.

Included in the details, Fiat-Chrysler will commit $325 million dollars in order to re-build the paint shop in its Brampton plant.

Dias said the agreement follows the pattern set by the union's contract with General Motors Co. That deal included a 10-year wage grow-in period with annual raises for new and recently hired members, a CA$6,000 signing bonus and CA$2,000 lump-sum payments in the final three years of the deal. It also includes 2 percent wage increases now and in 2019.

Total investment under the deal will be more than $400 million, Dias said. That's less than the $554 million in plant investments under the GM deal. However, Fiat Chrysler recently spent $2.6 billion for the development and production of the Chrysler Pacifica minivan in Windsor.

As in the GM deal, new workers will have a defined pension plan. Current new hires have a hybrid pension with defined benefit and defined contribution portions.

"2016 negotiations were truly about the future of the auto industry in Canada," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. "We had some major obstacles we needed to deal with… I am absolutely pleased we have had a unanimous decision."

Denise Hammond, director for communications for Unifor said union members were prepared to strike at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

"Our message, however, is clear," she said. "Without the pattern agreement, there will be a strike."

Unifor and Fiat Chrysler have been at the negotiating table throughout the Thanksgiving weekend.

At a briefing earlier in the evening, Hammond said the union still had issues with the contract and was preparing to set up picket lines.

The union traditionally works out an agreement with one of the Detroit Three automakers and then uses that as a pattern in its negotiations with the remaining two companies. Unifor picked General Motors as its first negotiating target, and the two sides reached a deal that was ratified in late September.

In a tweet sent Monday, Unifor national president Jerry Dias reiterated the union's main demand throughout its contract talks with the Detroit Three — the need for investment in the companies' Canadian operations.

Fiat Chrysler builds the Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans at its Windsor, Ont., assembly plant, which has received nearly $3 billion in recent investments. The Automotive News says the company has about 70 days' supply on hand of the Pacifica minivan, enough to get through a short work stoppage.

The union was looking for the company to invest in its Brampton, Ont., assembly plant, which makes the Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger, and its Etobicoke, Ont., parts plant.

Unifor's deal with GM includes a two per cent wage increase this year and another two per cent increase in September, 2019. There is also a $6,000 signing bonus plus lump sum bonuses of $2,000 in each of the next three years to most employees.

However, the Automotive News has reported that Fiat Chrysler has balked at the economic terms of the deal Unifor reached with GM.


Knights Table

Thank you and Unifor Local 584 Retirees and Unifor Local 584 for hosting your annual Thanksgiving Food Drive to assist families and individuals in need in our community. Many families are especially thankful at this season of Thanksgiving because of your efforts and care.

We thank you for raising an awesome 946 pounds of food to help those impacted by hunger, poverty & homelessness in our community.

• Unifor Local 584 Retirees (696lbs) Winners
• $250.00 Cash
• Unifor Local 584 Actives (250 lbs) 2nd place

From Knights Table family to yours, best wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Annie Bynoe,
Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal Recipient
Executive Director


GM Canada workers
to receive $12,000
in bonus payments

Greg Keenan
The Globe and Mail
September 26, 2016

GM Canada workers to receive $12,000 in bonus payments as part of new labour deal Unionized General Motors of Canada Co. workers will receive bonus payments of $12,000 during the next four years and 2 per cent wage increases this year and in 2019 in a new contract with the auto maker.

The contract calls for a ratification bonus of $6,000 and lump sump payments of $2,000 in each of years two, three and four, according to highlights of the agreement released Sunday at a ratification meeting in Oshawa, Ont., by Unifor, the union that represents about 4,000 workers at GM plants in Oshawa, as well as St. Catharines, Ont. and Woodstock, Ont.

Wages will rise to $35.78 an hour by the end of the four-year agreement from the current level of $34.41.
Workers who retired before 1987 or their surviving spouses, will receive a $1,500 lump-sum payment.
But the key issue for Unifor in talks with GM that led to a deal minutes before a strike deadline last Monday was winning investment to save the assembly plant in Oshawa and secure the future of an the engine and transmission factory in St. Catharines.

The vehicles made in Oshawa were scheduled to go out of production by the end of the decade and no new or replacement vehicles were allocated to the facility.

General Motors Co. has agreed to spend $400-million to upgrade the flexible assembly line in the Oshawa plant and $150-million to introduce a new model of an existing engine in St. Catharines and prepare the plant to make the next generation of a transmission it already assembles.

The investment in Oshawa will allow “the ability to meet unmet demand in a critical market segment,” the Unifor document said.

The document did not reveal what vehicles will be made in Oshawa that aren’t assembled there now, but sources briefed on the agreement have said GM will ship unfinished truck bodies to Oshawa from Fort Wayne, Ind. Unifor workers in Oshawa will perform final assembly.

That is expected to lead to additional production of about 70,000 vehicles a year in Oshawa, the sources said.

GM’s three pickup truck plants in North America are running flat out amid high sales of those vehicles with gas prices in the U.S. market averaging a little more than $2 (U.S.) a gallon and a recovery in the housing market driving increased demand from contractors.

Industry analysts have cautioned, however, that the Oshawa plant is immediately vulnerable when demand falls in the usual boom-and-bust auto industry cycle.

The Cadillac XTS passenger car, which was previously scheduled to go out of production in 2018, will receive an upgrade and its life will be extended.
Production of the Chevrolet Impala full-sized sedan will also be continued beyond its scheduled end date in 2019.

While the Oshawa plant’s short-term future is assured, GM stood firm against a Unifor demand that a 10-year progression of newly hired workers to full pay be shortened in length.

The starting rate for newly hired employees will rise to $20.92 in the new deal from $20.49 under the old contract and there will be wage increases in each of the first three years for new employees. Under the old contract they did not receive their first wage increases until they had completed three years of employment.

Pending ratification
of GM deal, Unifor eyes
talks with Fiat-Chrysler

The Canadian Press
Published Thursday
Sept 22, 2016

TORONTO -- Unifor says the next company in its contract negotiations with the Detroit Three automakers will be Fiat--Chrysler Automobile, pending ratification of its tentative deal with General Motors.

The union, which represents about 23,000 auto workers in Canada, reached a four-year agreement earlier this week with GM, averting a possible strike.

That deal is expected to set the pattern for negotiations with the other two big U.S. automakers.

The GM agreement, which includes wage increases, signing bonuses and lump sum payments, also secured investments from the company in its Canadian operations.

But the union also agreed that new hires will start with a defined contribution pension plan, rather than the hybrid plan for current employees.

Union president Jerry Dias says there will be no deal without a commitment to new investments in Canada.

Fiat-Chrysler employs 9,750 Unifor members at its assembly plants in Brampton, Ont., and Windsor, Ont., as well as a casting plant in Toronto.


GM deal good news for
Ford's Windsor engine
plants, says union

Unifor Local 200 president Chris Taylor says the new GM deal is a positive sign as the unions sets it sights on negotiations with Ford. Dan Janisse / Windsor Star

Grace Macaluso,
Windsor Star
September 21, 2016

The tentative contract agreement struck between Unifor and General Motors bodes well for the future of Ford's Windsor operations, Chris Taylor, president of Local 200, said Tuesday.

The fact that we were able to meet our main goal of investment, job security and product allocation for the Canadian operations of GM is a very, very positive sign for us at Ford because they know we won't settle for anything differently," said Taylor. "We expect production allocation for the Windsor site."

Under the agreement, GM will invest "hundreds of millions of dollars" in a new platform capable of building both cars and light trucks at the automaker's Oshawa assembly plant. The carmaker also will move some production from Mexico to its St. Catharines' powertrain plant.

Unifor has made new investment at Ford's Windsor engine operations the top priority in the current round of bargaining that affects about 1,400 hourly workers in Windsor and Essex County as well as 5,000 at the Oakville assembly plant.

The Essex Engine Plant employs 800 hourly workers who build the 5.0-litre, V-8 engine for the F-150 pickup and Ford Mustang, while the Windsor engine plant employs 600 hourly workers who build the 6.8-litre, V-10 engine for such vehicles as Ford Expedition and F-series super duty trucks.

While the Essex Engine Plant is expected to "hum along," producing about 260,000 units annually until 2023, production at Windsor engine will dramatically drop off from about 100,000 units this year to 40,000 by mid-2019, with nothing in the pipeline to replace the lost volume, said Joe McCabe, president of AutoForecast Solutions.

Two years ago, Ford chose Mexico over Windsor for a global program to build the next generation of small engines that would have led to a $1 billion-plus investment and the creation of up to 1,000 new jobs.

Taylor said he couldn't speculate on what new product could be awarded to the Windsor plants. But McCabe said one possibility could be Ford's expanding lineup of EcoBoost engines.

"We have to look at Ford's general strategy of downsizing engines using EcoBoost technology," said McCabe. "Our forecast has EcoBoost engine production in North America increasing from 750 million units this year by 50 per cent by 2021. That might be a good opportunity for Windsor to step up and say 'make that investment in us for retooling and bring EcoBoost product here.'"

Flavio Volpe, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association, said Ford has a solid track record of investing in its Canadian plants.

"Ford has a good history of commitment to Canada, specifically to Windsor," said Volpe, referring to the 2009 retooling of the Essex Engine Plant and recent investment in its Oakville vehicle assembly plant. "It's a very healthy company that is very adept at the kinds of changes in powertrain products that Windsor needs to see, and are critical for Ford's long-term sustainability."

Volpe also said that federal and Ontario government assistance is key to increasing the Detroit Three's manufacturing footprint in Canada. Ottawa has signalled that it was willing to bow to industry demands to change its Automotive Innovation Fund from a loan-based to grant-based program. But, Volpe said that Ottawa and Queen's Park also must increase their level of support from the traditional 20 per cent of an investment proposed by an automaker.

"There's a reasonable expectation that for the right product and footprint, the governments can be convinced to go beyond the usual support formula."

Unifor has yet to announce whether Ford of Fiat Chrysler will be its next target. But Taylor said he was hopeful that Ford will follow the pattern set by the GM negotiations.

"The pattern is set," he said. "There will still be some intense negotiations that will be required to get this done."

Future production

Ontario could become the centre of Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain production under a tentative contract agreement between General Motors and Unifor, an industry analyst said.

The Equinox is currently assembled on three full shifts at GM's CAMI plant in Ingersoll, with overflow production occurring at the Oshawa facility.

Joe McCabe, president of AutoForecast Solutions, said his firm has been forecasting that the Terrain and additional production of the Equinox would be shifting to Mexico. However, a new global platform promised for the Oshawa assembly plant means the two vehicles could be assembled there, he said.

"We had the global Delta platform, capable of building the Equinox, Terrain, Buick Envision and Chevy Cruze, slated to move to Mexico. If Oshawa is going to get a platform that can build both cars and light trucks, the global Delta makes the most sense."

The Envision mid-size luxury crossover, he noted, is currently produced in China.

Canada then becomes the home of the Equinox and Terrain, he said. "Canada can share the supply chain, and you have a lot of Canadian content."

Unifor president Jerry Dias said more details of the new contract would be unveiled during ratification votes by 3,900 GM members on Sunday. Dias would not confirm the vehicles moving to Oshawa, except to say that the new platform would give GM "capabilities to build anything. The options are unlimited."


GM, Canada auto union
reach tentative deal,
averting strike

Jerry Dias

September 20, 2016

TORONTO (Reuters) - General Motors Co and the Canadian autoworkers union announced a tentative contract deal early Tuesday morning, averting a strike that would have shut some of the automaker's Canadian manufacturing facilities.

Unifor said the tentative deal will prevent the closure of GM's Oshawa assembly plant, bring some engine assembly from Mexico to GM's St. Catharines, Ontario facility, and increase wages for existing employees. Union members will vote on the deal on Sunday.

"The commitment to Oshawa is hundreds of millions of dollars, therefore our fear of a closure in 2019 is now over," Unifor National President Jerry Dias said.

The union made a concession on pensions for new workers, agreeing to a pure defined contribution plan, the first such plan under the master agreement that covers most assembly workers at GM, Ford Motor Co and Fiat Chrysler. Veteran employees have defined benefit pensions, and those hired since 2012 have a hybrid plan with defined benefit and defined contribution portions.

In a statement, GM Canada confirmed it had reached an agreement that would allow "significant new product, technology and process investments" in Oshawa and at the company's St Catharines powertrain plant.

"We will be working with government on potential support, and will provide further details on the investment at the appropriate time," the company said.

Dias did not say what vehicle model or models would be built in Oshawa, but said the plant would become capable of producing both cars and trucks. The plant currently builds cars.

Dias also said the agreement would ensure Oshawa hires workers in the short and long term, even as the scheduled closure of one of the plant's two assembly lines, the consolidated line, goes ahead as planned in 2017.

He said some volume of engine production would shift from Mexico to St. Catharines, the first time he can remember product moving from Mexico to Canada: "We've seen enough of it going the other way around," he said.

Under the union's practice of pattern bargaining, the deal with GM sets a pattern that Ford and Fiat Chrysler will be expected to follow closely in their contracts.

The deal is subject to a ratification vote, scheduled for Sunday. Dias said he expected to select a second target company within 24 hours.

A four-year contract covering some 20,000 Canadian autoworkers at the three automakers expired on Sept. 19, but only GM workers were in a legal strike position on Tuesday.


Unifor picks
GM as target
in Canadian
contract talks

Brent Snavely,
Detroit Free Press
September 7, 2016

Unifor has made product commitments and jobs its top priority in its negotiations with GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Unifor said Tuesday it has picked General Motors as its target in contract negotiations with the Detroit Three this year, a choice that makes it clear the union wants to tackle its toughest challenge first.

Unifor has made product commitments and jobs its top priority in its negotiations with all three automakers, but GM has said it will refuse to discuss product commitments for its Oshawa Assembly Plant and St. Catharines engine and transmission plant until after a new contract is reached.

“We are not under any circumstances going to sign a contract with GM unless there is a firm commitment at St. Catharines and Oshawa,” Unifor President Jerry Dias said at a news conference in Toronto.

GM declined to say whether it will change its negotiating strategy.

"At GM Canada we remain focused on working with Unifor to reach a mutually beneficial and competitive new agreement," the automaker said in a news release.

GM's Oshawa plant — where 2,600 hourly workers are employed — has two assembly lines. The Flex Line builds the Chevrolet Impala, the Buick Regal and the Cadillac XTS. But all three are to be discontinued or moved to other plants.

Dias said Unifor followed the same strategy in 2012 when it picked Ford as the lead company. Since then, Ford has added 2,200 workers.

"If the argument four years ago was we should concentrate on the greatest need, then the same argument must hold true in 2016," Dias said.

Unifor, like the UAW in the U.S., traditionally picks a lead company in contract negotiations and then uses that agreement as a pattern to complete discussion with the other two automakers.

Unifor, Canada's largest private-sector union, represents more than 23,000 autoworkers at the Detroit Three and more than 300,000 workers across several industries in Canada.

The union's contract with all three automakers expires Sept. 19. If there is no agreement by then, Unifor could call a strike.

Dias said Tuesday that a strike at St. Catharines would quickly force GM to stop producing vehicles at its plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, and several other profitable plants in the U.S.

GM makes V6 and V8 engines as well as six-speed transmissions at the plant that are used in a wide range of vehicles including the Chevrolet Silverado and Tahoe and the GMC Sierra and Yukon. The V6 engine powers the Chevrolet Camaro, Impala, Traverse and Equinox; the GMC Terrain and Acadia, and the Buick Enclave and the Cadillac CTS.

"I don’t think there is going to be a strike. I think GM is going to work with us toward a solution," Dias said.

Dias has repeatedly said that he thinks the future of Canada's automotive industry is at stake in this year's contract talks because three plants could close over the next four years if the union is unable to secure new product commitments from the automakers.

Unifor also is worried about the future Ford's engine plants in Windsor and FCA's plant in Brampton, Ontario. Each makes products scheduled to be phased out or that could be moved elsewhere unless the automakers decide to overhaul the plants with new equipment and make new or redesigned engines and vehicles there.

Dias said Tuesday he has confidence that Unifor will be able to secure new products for those two plants as part of the union's contract discussions with those automakers.

In Brampton, FCA builds the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger. Those cars are distinctive members of FCA's lineup, but they're made on an aging platform that hasn't been fully redesigned in years.

"We are comfortable that the existing platform that is in place and the products that are in Brampton today are secure," Dias said. "But we are going to make sure in this set of negotiations we are going to solidify the footprint and have major discussions with Chrysler about investment within Brampton."

Brampton also has an aging paint plant and an overhaul of that portion of the plant would help to secure its future.

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne acknowledged the needs of the aging plant last month after he spoke at a plant in Sterling Heights.

“All plants require investments,” Marchionne said. “There are some structural issues that impact on Brampton about its long-term viability without additional investment, which are not product-related. They relate to the longevity of the paint shop.”

In Canada, this round of contract negotiations with GM, Ford and FCA is almost universally viewed as a turning point for the country's automotive industry. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne have both talked frequently this year about the importance of the automotive industry.

The outcome of negotiations also is import for thousands of Michigan workers at parts suppliers that make goods bound for auto plants in Canada. In 2013, more than $13.5 billion in transportation equipment, which includes automotive parts, was exported to Canada from Michigan.

"So what is this (round of negotiations) about? It’s about jobs, it’s about investing in Canada. It’s about stopping, I will argue, the exodus from Canada to Mexico and to a smaller extent the southern United States," Dias said.

Union votes for strike mandate in contract talks with auto makers

Greg Keenan
Globe & Mail
Aug 29, 2016

Workers at Canadian plants operated by the Detroit Three auto makers have given their union an overwhelming mandate to call a strike against the companies if an agreement on a new contract is not reached by Sept. 19.

Members of Unifor who work at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. approved strike action if necessary during votes held on Sunday.

The results in favour of a strike were 99 per cent among workers at Fiat Chrysler, 98.9 per cent at Ford and 97.1 per cent at GM, Unifor said Sunday.

With this clear mandate our members have demonstrated they are in full support of their bargaining committees, and our direction in this set of negotiations," Unifor president Jerry Dias said in a statement.

"The bargaining committee will not accept a deal without a commitment to investment in Canada's auto sector," Mr. Dias said. "The push for new investments in Canada got a lot stronger today."

Strike votes are steps in the process of negotiation between the companies and the union. Negotiations began earlier this month and the company and union representatives have been negotiating on local issues before beginning formal discussions on a new national contract.

Unifor will choose one of the three companies as a so-called target company after Labour Day and attempt to negotiate a new contract with that company that will then serve as a template for an agreement with the other two auto makers.

There has not been a strike against any of the Detroit Three auto makers since 1996, when the predecessor union to Unifor, the Canadian Auto Workers, went on strike against GM for three weeks.

Unifor represents about 23,000 workers at the three companies.


Canadian auto industry
at 'crossroads' ahead
of labour talks

The Globe and Mail
August 10, 2016

Labour negotiations are set to kick off between the Detroit Three auto makers and the union representing Canadian auto workers Wednesday at a key moment for the industry in this country.

During the last major round of bargaining with the Detroit Three in 2009, the parties' focus was on re-establishing a solid footing in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Now, plants in Canada are facing questions about whether they will have products to build in the years to come.

"We're at a crossroads in the auto industry in Canada," Jerry Dias, president of Unifor, said in a phone interview Tuesday. "We've got enormous challenges ahead of us in the next couple months."

The focus of the negotiations revolves around contracts at GM's assembly plant in Oshawa, Ont., Ford's engine factories in Windsor, Ont., and Chrysler's assembly plant in Brampton, Ont. Existing contracts with the three auto makers expire on Sept. 19.

One of the key issues will be ensuring that GM allocates new vehicles to the Oshawa plant, which currently plans to end one of its two production lines next year, cutting 1,000 jobs with it. It doesn't have any new vehicles scheduled for production after 2019, with the Chevrolet Equinox compact crossovers and the Buick Regal expected to leave Oshawa in 2017.

Unifor, Canada's largest union in the private sector, represents about 23,000 workers at the Detroit Three auto makers in Canada. Talks begin with General Motors of Canada Ltd. on Wednesday, followed by Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd. and Fiat Chrysler Canada on Thursday. Bargaining is expected to continue with the auto makers till the end of August, and a pattern-bargaining target is expected to be chosen by Sept. 5. (Editorial, advertising and circulation employees of The Globe and Mail are also members of Unifor.)

Pattern bargaining is a collective-bargaining technique in which the union uses the precedent of one contract agreement as a model for others during labour negotiations. Unions focus on one company, establishing the pattern that will serve as a template for contracts with the other auto makers. Once a deal is reached with the first company, the focus will switch to the second company and then the last of the three. Unions choose the pattern target based on the criteria that they have prioritized.

"It's crystal clear that the priority is product," Mr. Dias said. In the face of a shift of more work to the southern United States, where government investment is strong, and Mexico, where labour costs are lower, the need to secure new products for Canada is crucial. In the past decade, Mr. Dias said, Mexico has opened eight assembly plants, while Canada has closed two. Despite a low Canadian dollar and strong North American auto sales, future contracts are at risk. Now, he's looking to avoid further plant closings and the corresponding job losses.

While the auto makers have declined to comment until the negotiations begin, Stephen Carlisle, president of General Motors Canada Ltd., has said repeatedly in the past that no decisions will be made on allocating new vehicles to the Oshawa plant to replace cars that are going out of production or shifted elsewhere until after the negotiations with Unifor.

Mr. Dias said there's a lot to lose. The focus needs to be on solidifying products and business for each facility, he said.

"If we don't negotiate a product and stabilize the [GM] facilities during this set of negotiations, it will close," he says.

The case is similar for the Ford engine plant in Windsor, which lost out on a contract to a plant in Mexico last year. And then there's the Fiat Chrysler plant in Brampton, where Mr. Dias says the focus is on upgrading the paint shop.

This set of negotiations is arguably more important than the 2008-2009 restructuring of the auto industry during the financial crisis, when the negotiations followed government bailouts of GM and Chrysler.

"We knew coming out of the restructuring agreement that the jobs were still going to be there. We just had to make sure with the companies and the governments that everything ended on stable footing," Mr. Dias said.

But this time around, those restrictions aren't there. "The commitments that Chrysler and GM made to the provincial and federal governments have expired. So now, for them, it's business as usual without any commitments," he said.

"This is a big deal. This is really going to be about the manufacturing sector in the long term in Canada. So there is everything at stake in this set of negotiations."


Congratulations to
our newest Retiree

Ted Froll

Ted Froll
Aug. 1, 2016
21.1 Yrs



Auto makers and
governments must
invest in the long game

Globe & Mail
Jerry Dias
July 26, 2016

In three weeks, Unifor launches negotiations involving 23,000 members at General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler. Securing the future of the industry is our top priority.

Automotive investment is a long game. Key decisions are made years before new products roll off the line. While these are good times for the auto makers, and output in Canada remains brisk, the long planning cycle means we urgently need investments for the survival of several major operations.

Our success in these negotiations will determine the livelihoods of thousands of workers and the future of our industry, and set an important precedent about the kind of economy we want.

It's been seven long years since the worst of the global financial crisis and recession, and we're into our second year of the most recent commodities bust. Hopefully, we've learned the painful lessons about Canada's need for a balanced economy – one built not only on financial speculation or commodity booms, but including a core focus on advanced manufacturing as an engine of innovation, skills development and wealth creation.

Despite a rough ride, Canada's automotive sector remains vibrant, with five global auto makers and more than 600 auto-parts operations. Auto remains Canada's most valuable export, at $77-billion last year. The industry directly employs 125,000 people and the spinoffs generate a total of more than 300,000 jobs. The industry is crucial at a time when good jobs remain scarce.

Auto is also essential for the health of our public services. A 2015 independent analysis demonstrated that the GM Oshawa operations alone were responsible for more than 30,000 jobs and $1-billion a year in tax revenues. And that's from just one of Canada's nine major auto maker production locations.

Canada remains an incredible place to build vehicles. Our highly skilled work force means that our plants have the best quality record in the world. In the past 25 years, Canadian assembly plants have earned one-third of the top quality awards among all plants selling into the U.S. market. Within the Detroit Three, we regularly earn more than double our share of quality awards. Since we last negotiated, vehicles built by our members earned one-third of the quality awards, although we produce just 15 per cent of the models.

Canada is also an important market. The $30-billion Canadians spent buying 835,000 Detroit Three vehicles last year makes us their fifth-largest global market, and contributed in the range of $2.5-billion in combined operating profits.

Auto workers' wages always get a lot of attention. Work in an auto plant is demanding, with regular night and weekend shifts. Workers start at $20 an hour and progress to $34 after a decade of service. It's decent pay for tough work. However, labour is just a small fraction of the overall price of the vehicle. The lion's share of costs are purchased parts, materials, overhead and selling. In fact, our labour represents just 4 per cent of the price of the vehicles we produce. That's certainly not the deciding factor for investment.

Increasingly, we see governments playing a pivotal role in supporting automotive investment. Whether it's in the U.S. Midwest, the Southern states or Mexico, governments understand that auto is the top prize for economic development. Ontario and the federal government have been saying the right things, but in the weeks ahead they will need to be ready to act.

As we reach our deadline in mid-September, we'll be pushing hard to secure needed investments. Our members put their hearts and souls into their work. They've made sacrifices and done more than their share to contribute to the success of the companies. We remain confident that the auto makers and governments will want to share in the continued success of the industry in Canada. We remain firm in our resolve to make that happen.


Investment in Canadian
auto sector key, union says

The Canadian Press
July 25, 2016

TORONTO - As talks between the Detroit Three automakers and the workers' union get underway, Unifor president Jerry Dias says he won't back down from demands for new investment in Canadian assembly facilities.

"The climate today is much different than it was four years ago," said Dias, referring to the last round of bargaining.

"Four years ago they had come out of the 2008-2009 recession, but there was still a lot of uncertainty. This round of bargaining is really about solidifying the footprint in Canada. There's no question in my mind that it's about the future of the industry."

With the current agreements set to expire on Sept. 19, both sides have entered into early explanatory discussions -- what Dias refers to as "kicking the tires."

Once the deadline draws near, the union will choose a target company to try to hammer out a deal with that will set the tone for negotiations with the others, a process referred to as pattern bargaining.

Unifor has some bargaining chips in its pocket. For one thing, the weak Canadian dollar relative to the greenback makes for lower labour costs.

Furthermore, auto sales have been on fire, with recent data suggesting Canada is on track for another record year.

And the automakers have been "making money hand-over-first," said Dias.

General Motors, for example, reported Thursday that its second-quarter profit more than doubled to $2.87 billion -- the highest it's been since the company emerged from bankruptcy seven years ago.

"If we can't negotiate a settlement that gives our members' security while times are good, we would be naive to believe that we can negotiate stability when times are bad," said Dias.

"So the stars are aligned for us, candidly."

While raises and other employee benefits would be welcome, Dias noted that securing investment in Canada from the Detroit Three is key during this round of negotiations.

"I'm completely convinced that GM will close our assembly plant if we don't nail down future product," he said, referring to the company's Oshawa, Ont., plant, which some fear may be shut down given the lack of new production announcements.

Also in the spotlight is Ford's engine plant in Windsor, Ont., and, to a lesser extent, the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles factory in Brampton,Ont., he added.

"Negotiating wage increases and other things for our members is moot if we don't have an assembly plant," Dias said.

Ford Canada also says labour costs and productivity are important issues in the upcoming talks. Canadian auto manufacturing is at an "inflection point," the organization said, with much of the new investment heading south.

"We've reached competitive agreements in the past and must do it again to win future production for Canada," spokeswoman Lauren More said in an email.

Industry analyst Mark Petro says there's a risk that the auto companies could try to appease the union by promising work, but in lower volumes.

"They really need to focus on getting some larger-volume products that will be stable in the long term," said Petro.

"A five-year fix or a 10-year fix on vehicles that can move around any time or to any place is not a good thing.... It's got to be the right vehicle for the right length of time."


Ford says meeting union demand for Windsor investment a challenge

Greg Keenan
The Globe and Mail
July 7, 2016

Meeting the demand by Unifor that Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd. invest in its engine plant in Windsor, Ont., will be a "challenge," company officials say on the eve of negotiations on a new contract with the union that represents 6,400 workers.

At the moment, the auto maker does not have a new engine to allocate to the Windsor Engine Plant, the officials said. The Windsor Engine Plant is one of two Ford Motor Co. engine plants in the city and is on the endangered list with no new investment slated to be made there and new fuel economy and emissions regulations posing a threat to the 6.8-litre engines assembled at the plant. However, the Essex Engine Plant, also in Windsor, was reopened with new investment.

"The price of entry for consideration [for new investment] is having a competitive agreement and making sure that we have the enablers in place to attract that level of investment on a global stage," a Ford Canada official said in a background briefing Tuesday.

Unifor president Jerry Dias has made new investment in the Canadian operations of the Detroit Three the key demand in talks on a new contract that are scheduled to begin next month. The contracts expire in mid-September.

"I'm sure it's going to be a challenge [in Windsor], but I'm sure they're going to find a way to get it done," Mr. Dias said Tuesday.

"Do I believe it's going to be easy? The answer is no, but ultimately you're dealing with a global corporation that thinks a long way ahead," he said. "So I would expect they've got a solution. If they don't have one today, they're certainly going to have one by the middle of September."

Unifor represents about 1,400 people at the two plants in Windsor. About 250 are on layoff.

The negotiations on a new contract with the Ford, General Motors Co., and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV are the first set of talks in which Mr. Dias has participated as president of Unifor. The union was formed in 2013 with the merger of the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.

The demand by Mr. Dias for new investment comes amid red-hot sales in the North American auto market, but also as auto makers spend tens of billions of dollars at new and existing factories in the United States and Mexico and considerably less than that in Canada.

Auto makers invested $18-billion in 2014 in North America, with just $1-billion of that spent in Canada, the Ford official said.

But the official noted that the 2012 labour agreement between what was then CAW and the auto makers opened the door to $1-billion of investment by Ford in Canada and the hiring of 2,000 people at the company's assembly plant in Oakville, Ont., where the Ford Edge and Flex and Lincoln MKX and MKT crossovers are produced.

The key clause in that agreement, the Ford official said, was a so-called grow-in plan that allowed the company to hire new workers at about $20 an hour instead of the rate of more than $30 an hour paid to senior workers. Newly hired employees progress to full wages over a 10-year period.

"That's an example of collaborative problem solving that we came up with where people still have a path to good automotive jobs and we're able to hire at the same time," the Ford official said.


How labour regained
its clout in Ottawa

The Globe and Mail
Jul 3, 2016
Rachelle Younglai

Canadian unions are flexing their muscle in Ottawa. When the Liberal government reached a deal to reform the Canada Pension Plan, the country's labour movement scored a huge victory. It wasn't just because unions had spent nearly a decade lobbying Ottawa for bigger retirement cheques, the government's decision showed that organized labour had the power to sway policy in its favour.

After hostile relations with the previous Conservative government, unions are now being consulted on legislation.

It is a significant shift that could influence future policy, including the fate of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal between Canada, the U.S. and Pacific Rim countries.

"The climate has drastically changed," said Mark Hancock, the national president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the largest public sector union in Canada. "There used to be a real vacuum and we weren't part of any of the discussions," he said.

In the months leading up to the recent CPP deal, Finance Minister Bill Morneau met and spoke with labour leaders.

He told them that expanding CPP was a priority and asked for their input. "We have been working very closely and trying to listen to one another and trying to find compromise and balance," said Hassan Yussuff, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, the union federation representing 3.3 million Canadian workers.

Unions across the country are now enjoying a fruitful relationship with the Liberals. Mr. Yussuff said that whenever he picks up the phone to call a minister, deputy minister or their staff, his calls are returned – unlike during the previous Conservative administration. Mr. Yussuff can easily get meetings with top officials and has not only had extensive discussions with Mr. Morneau, he has spoken with the ministers responsible for trade, labour, industry and transport.

It is the same for other union chiefs.

"I have spoken with more ministers in the last six months than the previous 10 years," said Jerry Dias, president of Unifor, Canada's largest private sector union representing workers in manufacturing and gambling among other industries. "I speak to ministers pretty much every week. I speak to [Trade Minister] Chrystia Freeland almost weekly. The access that our organization has is unprecedented," Mr. Dias said.

Just days after taking office in November, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended a Canadian Labour Congress meeting and told attendees his government wanted to work with unions. "The Prime Minister made a point of saying he asked his cabinet to 'always consult labour,' " recalled one attendee.

In contrast, Ottawa did not consult the top business lobbyist on the CPP. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce sent Mr. Morneau two letters, saying that the higher CPP contributions should be voluntary and that they were equivalent to another payroll tax on employers. Perrin Beatty, the chamber's president, said "we were able to make sure the government was aware of our views by taking the initiative to write to them, although there was no formal consultation process. It is always better when governments actively reach out to stakeholders."

However, the chamber said they were invited to consult on other topics, such as the TransPacific Partnership (TPP) – a trade agreement businesses largely favour. As part of the Liberals' effort to be transparent, the government is seeking advice from stakeholders on a range of issues. On the TPP alone, Ottawa has held more than 250 consultations. Ms. Freeland has held more than 80 consultations and there are many more meetings to come.

The unions are vehemently opposed to the TPP, saying it would undermine Canada's jobs market and lead to the loss of good jobs.

"At some point we will see if they are truly listening," Mr. Yussuff said. "Do they listen and change direction or do they listen and say thank you very much?" he said.

Canada does not have to reach a resolution on the TPP until February, 2018, the deadline for Canada and the 11 other countries to ratify the agreement. The Liberals won't even have to show their hand if the U.S. rejects the proposal. The current Obama administration may not have the political capital to approve the TPP before the U.S. presidential election in November. And both presumptive presidential nominees, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, have said they oppose it.

It remains to be seen whether organized labour will succeed in quashing the TPP, but its budding relationship with Ottawa has given unions some hope. Unions mobilized their members to vote against former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper, an effort that helped the Liberals win a majority government. "When we get our act together, we can make things happen. Governments are taking notice of that," said Sharleen Stewart, the president of Service Employees International Union in Canada.

The prize for their support? "The Liberals are more aligned with labour then we have seen in the past," said Paul Meinema, the national president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada union, which represents workers in meat plants and grocers.

In addition to the CPP proposal, Ottawa has rolled back policies enacted under the Conservatives that organized labour deemed "anti-union" and "anti-worker." That includes reversing a law that made it harder for workers to organize, and another that required unions to disclose detailed financial information. The Liberals also reversed the eligibility for Old Age Security pension to 65 years old from 67, which labour lobbied for.

The breakthrough with the federal government comes as unions grapple with the power they lost over three decades. The proportion of unionized workers in the private sector has dropped to 17 per cent last year from 21 per cent in 1997, according to Statistics Canada data.

The biggest losses have been in the manufacturing sector, where the unionization rates have dropped to 26 per cent last year, down 10 percentage points from its peak in the 1990s, according to Statscan. More than 400,000 factory positions vanished during the financial crisis, eliminating scores of union positions and weakening the labour movement.

Organized labour is now trying to expand into new areas – for example, covering Uber drivers. But the country's labour laws were enacted before the rise of the so-called "gig economy." What to do with those outdated laws?

"If you're strong enough, you change the law," said Buzz Hargrove, former president of the now defunct Canadian Auto Workers union. "That is what we are doing right now with Justin Trudeau and the new government. They are changing the law," he said.



Ottawa, provinces reach agreement in principle for CPP reform, premiums to increase in 2019

Only Quebec and Manitoba neglected to endorse the agreement, which would see an increase in monthly premiums phased in starting at $7 a month in 2019 for a typical worker earning about $55,000

By Geordon Omand
The Canadian Press
June 21, 2016

VANCOUVER—Both Canadian workers and their employers will soon be on the hook for higher contributions to the Canada Pension Plan after the federal government reached an agreement with most of the provinces Monday to revamp the program for the first time in nearly two decades.

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the change means future generations of Canadians will be able to retire in dignity, no matter the state of their finances.

"We have come to a conclusion that we are going to improve the retirement security of Canadians," Morneau said. "We're going to improve the Canada Pension Plan that will make a real difference in future Canadians' situations."

By 2023, an extra $34 a month in pension premiums will mean up to $4,300 more in annual payouts come retirement time for the average Canadian wage earner.

The agreement-in-principle, which only Quebec and Manitoba neglected to endorse, will see an increase in monthly premiums phased in starting at $7 a month in 2019 for a typical worker earning about $55,000.

Once the plan is fully implemented, the maximum annual benefits will increase by about one-third to $17,478.

Mandatory matching contributions will also mean a jump in payroll expenses for employers.

A change to the CPP needs the consent of Ottawa and a minimum of seven provinces representing at least two-thirds of the country's population.

Morneau said Quebec — which has its own pension plan — and Manitoba continue to be part of the process, despite not signing on to the agreement.

"Quebec is in a different situation," he said. "The Quebec pension plan is a different vehicle. The costs are different than the Canadian Pension Plan. The idea that more analysis is required is something that we completely understood around the table."

For Manitoba, Morneau said the deal comes too soon for the province's new Tory government.

"Manitoba is a brand new government. They've been in power for four weeks, so they were a productive voice around the table, a voice of continued interest in working together, but of course this comes pretty fast and hard for them."

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa said young Canadians will reap the benefits from Monday's decision.

"Today, this federal government has shown great leadership and great desire to do something of great benefit for our young people."

Sousa said the plan would replace the one his government had been working on.

British Columbia Finance Minister Mike de Jong, who had reservations about expanding the CPP, said he came on board because the plan is affordable.

"I think we have reached a balanced approach to setting the objectives that were set out."

Provinces will have until July 15 to officially sign on to the agreement before it becomes formalized.

Heading into Monday's federal-provincial meeting, it was still unclear whether Ottawa would piece together the minimum required provincial support for change. Saskatchewan, for example, did not originally support CPP enhancement.

Sources said Ottawa made a major 11th-hour push in hopes of securing enough countrywide support to boost the CPP and suggested Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was involved in the extra effort.

There hasn't been such a level of consensus on CPP reform at a national scale since the 1990s.

However, critics have warned that expanding the CPP would squeeze workers and employers for additional contributions, and hurt the still-fragile Canadian economy.

The federal government intensified its lobbying efforts over the final days and hours of ongoing meetings as it tried to attract support from enough provinces to ensure a CPP upgrade, said sources with knowledge of the talks.


Local 584 at TPP Rally
June 15, 2016


Al Varey passes away
on Friday May 20, 2016

Al Varey

Retired Dec 1, 1993

We have just learned the sad news that one
of our Retirees, Al Varey has passed away.

Our Deepest condolences go out
to his wife Eileen and family.

Here are the Funeral details:

When : Wednesday, May 25th, 2016, 2:00pm - 4:00pm 

Location: Carruthers & Davidson Funeral Home - Wasaga Beach Chapel

Address: 509 River Road West
               Wasaga Beach, ON
                L9Z 2X2

For Map click here

VAREY, R. Alan - Passed away peacefully on Friday May 20, 2016 with family by his side at Campbell House Hospice, Collingwood at the age of 87. Alan of Wasaga Beach.
Beloved husband of Eileen.
Loving father of Trevor Varey and his wife Julie and Shannon and her husband Chris Smith. Cherished grandfather of Brandon and Brittany and great-grandfather of Braxton.
Brother of George Varey and the late James Varey.
A Celebration of Alan's Life will be held at Carruthers & Davidson Funeral Home, Wasaga Beach on Wednesday May 25th from 2-4 p.m. with Words of Remembrance at 3 p.m.
If desired, in lieu of flowers, donations to Hospice Georgian Triangle for Campbell House Hospice would be appreciated by Alan's family.
Carruthers & Davidson Funeral Home, Wasaga Beach on Wednesday May 25th from 2-4 p.m. with Words of Remembrance at 3 p.m.



FCA retirees demand
return of COLA in
upcoming contract talks

Unifor retirees protest in front of FCA Canada headquarters on Riverside Drive. Handout / Windsor Star

Grace Macaluso,
Windsor Star
April 27, 2016

Detroit Three-Unifor contract talks aren't expected to gear up until late summer, but Local 444 retirees want to make sure their concerns aren't forgotten at the bargaining table.

"Retirees made sacrifices to help save Chrysler during the 2009 financial crisis," Gary Parent, Unifor Local 444 retiree's chapter recording secretary, said Tuesday. "The retirees continue to make sacrifices today, and what we need is recognition in 2016 bargaining of those sacrifices by asking for the reinstatement of P-Cola (pension cost-of-living allowance)."

Parent was among a group of Local 444 retirees who staged a rally Monday outside of FCA Canada headquarters on Riverside Drive.

LouAnn Gosselin, spokeswoman for FCA Canada, said the automaker hopes to negotiate a contract that will be "mutually beneficial to all involved."

"There are many issues that will be addressed during the upcoming negotiations," Gosselin said. "Our goal, working with our Unifor partners, is to negotiate a contract that will be mutually beneficial for all involved."

James Stewart, first vice-president at Local 444, said the union supports the retirees right to air their concerns, but bargaining priorities won't be set until negotiations get underway. Active workers, who've been without an annual pay hikes for almost a decade, also accepted concessions to help keep the car companies financially afloat, Stewart noted.

"Until we're sitting across from the company, then we will prioritize all of our demands," he said. "Everything is about balance — making sure you're getting fair increases for all our members, and making sure you're here long term."

The current four-year deal expires in September 2016. Local 444 represents more than 6,000 retirees and surviving spouses, said Parent.

Retirees are planning more rallies to coincide with the contract talks, he said.

"They built the company from the ground up," Parent said. "They deserve recognition in 2016 bargaining."




Congratulations to our Newest Retiree

George Simpson

George Simpson

Retired March 1, 2016

30 Years Service



We are sorry to report that Retiree
Don White has passed away

on February 29, 2016

Our Sincerest Condolences go out to his Family!

He will be truly missed by all.

Don White
Retired July 1, 1998
32 Years Service

1934 -2016

Details of the service are as follows:

Saturday March 12, 2016 @    10-11 am -  visitation
11 am – celebration of life
Reception to follow

J.S. Jones & Son Funeral Home
11582 Trafalgar Rd.
Georgetown, ON


For more details as they are posted click here:

Obituary of Donald White


It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Don on February 29, 2016 at Waterside Retirement Lodge, Wasaga Beach with his family by his side.

Born in Milton in 1934, Don was the son of the late Francis Leonard and Mary Rebecca (Fry) White. In 1954 Don married the love of his life Shirley (Paul) and they enjoyed 59 wonderful years until Shirley's passing in 2013. They resided in Georgetown for many years where they raised their family before moving to Brampton and upon retirement to Gravenhurst. After Shirley's passing, Don relocated to Wasaga Beach. Don was an avid golfer and was actively involved in hockey and baseball both as a player and a coach, especially the Halton Hills Huff n' Puffers. Don worked for Smith & Stone for 15 years and then Ford Motor Company, Bramalea for 33+ years.

Don was a very loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle. Don always put family and friends before all else but he was most proud of his grandsons and their accomplishments.

Don is by survived by his daughters Susan and husband Stephen Graham of Belwood and Shelley and husband Paul Uren of Wasaga Beach. He was a loving Poppa to Scott Graham of Victoria, BC and Sean Graham of Boston MA. Dear brother-in-law of Ted Stigger of Burlington and sister-in-law Sheila and husband Phil Klassen of Dartmouth NS. Don will be fondly remembered by nephews/nieces Gail Robinson (Norm), George Stigger (Janet), Bettysue Handyside (Gord), Beverly Hall (Terry), Ellen Norton (Larry, deceased), Paul Klassen (Trudi), Wendy Klassen as well as many great nephews and nieces. He is fondly remembered by Carole Beard-Earles and her husband the Rev. Jerry Earles and family in Peterborough. Don was predeceased by his sisters Eileen and her husband Fred Johnson and Marjorie Stigger. Remembered by special friend Joy St. Eve. A special thanks to the management, staff and residents of Waterside Retirement Lodge for their support during Don's final weeks.

Visitation for family and friends will be held at the J.S. Jones and Son Funeral Home, 11582 Trafalgar Road, north of Maple Ave., Georgetown (905-877-3631) on Saturday, March 12, 2016, from 10 to 11 AM to be followed at 11 AM by a Celebration of Life service in the chapel. A reception will follow after the service.

Cremation has taken place. In memory, donations to the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario, St. George's Anglican Church, Georgetown or a charity of choice would be appreciated. To send expressions of sympathy visit www.jsjonesandsonfuneralhome.com.


Retiree Merv Davis Passes away March 8, 2016

It is with deep regret that we inform you of the passing of Retiree Merv Davis in his 85th year on March 8, 2016.

Our Condolences go out to his family and Friends

Merv Davis

Oct 10, 1930 - Mar 8, 2016

Passed Away: March 8, 2016
October 1, 1994
30.7 Years Service

Funeral Service
Brian E. Wood
Funeral Home

Date: Saturday March 12, 2016
Visitation: 10am - 11 am


250 14th Street West
Owen Sound, Ontario

Map and Directions


Suddenly at Central Place in Owen Sound, on Tuesday, March 8th, 2016. Mervyn Myers Davis, of Owen Sound, at the age of 85 years. Loving brother of Joan McCosh (Ken), and Dorla Price, both of Hamilton, Carl Davis (Eleanor), of Meaford, Donna Barber (Bruce), of Huntsville, Wayne Davis (Sandra) and Linda Smith (Avery), both of Shelburne and brother-in-law of Eldred Besley, of Buckhorne and Ruth Davis, of Eugenia. Mervyn will be sadly missed by his many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his parents, Russel and Bernice Davis; his sister, Lois Besley; his brother, Ray Davis; his partner, Yvette Andrews.

A Memorial Service for Mervyn Davis will be held in the Chapel of the BRIAN E. WOOD FUNERAL HOME, 250 – 14th Street West, Owen Sound, Ontario N4K 3X8 (519-376-7492) on Saturday, March 12th, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. David Campbell officiating. Visitation one hour prior to service. Interment in Greenwood Cemetery. If so desired, the family would appreciate donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation as an expression of sympathy. Messages of condolence may be sent to the family on-line at www.woodfuneralhome.ca

Ford-UAW workers to get
$9,300 total in profit sharing

Michael Martinez,
The Detroit News
Feb 1, 2016

Ford Motor Co.'s 52,900 hourly UAW workers will receive record profit-sharing checks totaling $9,300 this March, although the Dearborn automaker has already paid out $1,500 of that.

The Dearborn automaker reported a full-year North American pre-tax profit of $9.3 billion. Its profit sharing formula, unchanged as part of a new four-year pact with the union, rewards workers with $1 for every million dollars of North American profits.

The previous Ford profit sharing record was $8,800, passed out two years ago.

About 40,000 United Auto Workers members with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV will receive profit sharing payments of up to $4,000 for 2015. Those bonuses are the largest under the automaker's four-year contract with the UAW from 2011, up 45 percent from the previous high of $2,750 in 2014. Fiat Chrysler employees will receive the payment on Feb. 19.

FCA US, the company's North American-based operations, announced those payments Wednesday after the automaker reported the overall company earned $410 million in 2015. Earnings in its North American region were up 60.7 percent from 2014.

GM-UAW will learn what their profit sharing checks will be this week when the Detroit automaker reports earnings.


Ford earns $7.4B in
2015, posts record profit

Michael Martinez,
Detroit News
January 31, 2016

Ford Motor Co. said it earned $7.4 billion in 2015, including $1.9 billion in the fourth quarter.

The Dearborn automaker reported a record $10.8 billion pre-tax profit, before special items. In North America, Ford earned a full-year pre-tax profit of $9.3 billion, up $1.9 billion from a year ago. That will lead to a record $9,300 in profit sharing for the automaker's UAW members, although $1,500 of that amount has already been paid out.

Ford posted a full-year revenue of $149.6 billion and a full-year automotive operating margin of 6.8 percent. Ford posted a fourth-quarter earnings per share of 58 cents, and a full-year earnings per share of $1.88 per, with both numbers beating the consensus.

Ford's earnings were driven by North America, where it earned a full-year operating margin of 10.2 percent, but the automaker was profitable in all of its business units except South America. That includes a record profit in Asia Pacific and a return to profitability in Europe, where it hasn't turned a profit since 2011. Ford's global market share increased by two-tenths of a percentage point.

"The whole year came in better than we were expecting," Ford's Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks said. "We really started to see the international operations come forward."

Despite that, Ford's stock fell sharply in early trading, down 4.8 percent to $11.28 a share shortly after 10 a.m.

Ford President and CEO Mark Fields said the automaker delivered on its promise for a breakthrough year, and it expects a strong 2016.

"In 2016, we will continue to build on our strengths and accelerate our pace of progress even further, while transforming Ford into both an auto and a mobility company and creating value for all of our stakeholders," Fields said in a statement.

Fields has said Ford expects an operating margin of 9.5 percent or higher for North America and profitability in all business units except South America, where it expects a greater loss than in 2015. Results for Europe and Asia Pacific are expected to improve over 2015 and results for the Middle East and Africa are expected to be about equal to or more than last year. Ford Credit's pre-tax profit is expected to be equal to or more than it was in 2015.

Ford's North America business unit included a record fourth quarter of $2.03 billion and an operating margin of 8.2 percent. Its full-year profit margin of 10.2 percent represented the third time in four years that Ford recorded margins over 10 percent. The fourth quarter included the loss of about $600 million in one-time charges related to the automaker's new contract with the UAW, Shanks said.

Shanks said he still expects a strong 2016 for North America, but the profit margin could be as low as 9.5 percent since it's coming off a very strong 2015 and will have downtime and added costs associated with the launch of its new Super Duty truck.

Ford struggled in South America, losing $832 million there for the full year due to a continued deterioration in the business environment. Shanks said Ford expects the economy will continue to contract, and that Brazil could be headed into a depression.

The carmaker returned to profitability for the first time in four years in Europe, where it made $259 million. Ford said volume was up 10 percent there, and Fields said he can foresee profit margins of between 6-8 percent. This year, the margin was 0.9 percent.

"We're pleased with our progress in Europe but not satisfied," Fields said. "Getting profitable is just the first step."

Ford made $31 million in the Middle East and Africa and a record $765 million in Asia Pacific, up 29 percent from a year ago, due in large part to a strong fourth quarter in China.

Ford announced in January that it's switching how it accounts for pensions, resulting in a $1.5 billion gain to its 2015 full-year earnings pre-tax profit. The switch will put at least another $709 into the pockets of each of Ford's 52,900 U.S. hourly workers as part of profit-sharing checks early this year. Salaried workers who receive bonuses, excluding corporate officers, also will benefit.

Ford said it had been studying the change to mark-to-market pension and other post-retirement employee benefits for five years. It gives the company greater transparency of its operating results, the automaker says. It also helps to better compare Ford with key automotive competitors and follows the practices of many international companies.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Wednesday reported a profit of 377 million euros (about $410 million) for 2015, a substantial decrease from 632 million euros from the previous year due to recall and investment costs. General Motors Co. will release its earnings next week.

FCA also announced Wednesday that it's ending production of its Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 passenger cars to focus on its Ram and Jeep brands. Fields said Ford has no plans to announce regarding its own car production, but said the automaker will continue to adjust capacity to meet demand and is open to "all opportunities" with car production.

"We're always looking to be as efficient as possible," Fields said. "We believe very strongly it's important to have a balanced portfolio. As we go forward, we're going to be very focused on this. We're always open to talking with others. We have to be very realistic around what is the revenue these vehicles can command."



Ontario freezes hospital parking rates, offers long-term discount

Health Minister Eric Hoskins says 3-year freeze
takes effect now, discounts to begin Oct. 1

CBC News Posted: Jan 19, 2016

The Ontario government is freezing the price of parking at all the province's hospitals and forcing every hospital that charges more than $10 a day to offer discounts for longer-term users.

Health Minister Eric Hoskins made the announcement during a news conference Monday at Women's College Hospital in Toronto.

"We believe that parking fees should not be a barrier to health care," Hoskins said. "This announcement will make a difference for those who regularly visit our hospitals."

Effective immediately, parking rates at all hospitals in Ontario are frozen for next three years, and after that, price increases can be no more than the rate of inflation. Hoskins said

Starting Oct. 1, all hospitals with a parking rate of more than $10 per day must offer five-day, 10-day and 30-day passes at a 50 per cent discount off the daily rate, with full in-and-out privileges.

Parking nets hospitals $100M yearly

Susan Kuczynski told the news conference that she has seen the price of hospital parking soar since she began frequent visits to Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children in 1995, when her daughter was diagnosed with cancer.

The changes "will go a long way toward alleviating this particular burden for families," said Kuczynski, who works as the parent liaison with the group Ontario Parents Advocating for Children with Cancer.

Parking fees generate about $100 million annually for the province's hospitals, Hoskins said. He said the policy change will have a fiscal impact but could not immediately say what that would be.

The umbrella group representing the 150 hospitals in the province is not pleased with the announcement.

Effective immediately, parking rates at all hospitals in Ontario are frozen for the next three years, and after that, price increases can be no more than the rate of inflation. (CBC)

"For the past 10 years, government has actively encouraged hospitals to generate revenue to help fund hospital operations," said Anthony Dale, president of the Ontario Hospital Association, in a news release. "The decision to cut revenues could not come at a worse time."

Dale said hospitals are now at a "turning point" after four years without an increase in base operating funding and face "extremely challenging" budget choices.

Kathleen Wynne's Liberals promised in the 2014 election campaign to cap hospital parking fees.

The government estimates that 900,000 people will benefit from the discounted parking fees each year.

People across Canada – including those living in British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador – have voiced their anger at the state of hospital parking costs.

A CBC Marketplace story on hospital parking found that more than half of Canadians say the price affects how often they can visit a hospital, or for how long.

Hospital parking: The real cost for patients (CBC Marketplace)



Our Sincerest Sympathies to
Barb Morrison and family
on the passing of her Mom
on January 10, 2016

Erma Viola Morrison (nee Wilson)

Erma MorrisonMom passed away peacefully at Etobicoke General Hospital, on her 86th birthday, Sunday, January 10, 2016, Erma Viola Morrison, Kleinburg, beloved wife of the late Herb Morrison. Dear mother of Christine and Brian Burgess, Raymond and Victoria, Timothy and Linda, Barbara and Steve Koloff, Susan and Douglas Burbidge. Loving grandmother of Harvey, Luke, Lori, Stephen, Jessica, Matthew, Stephen, Ashley, Jimmy, Mark, Samantha and Charlotte. Now holding great grandchild, the late Matthew, in her loving arms. Our Nanny was loved by all and will be forever missed! Dear daughter of the late Jack and Vidy Wilson. Predeceased by brothers Murray, Les and Doug. Survived by sisters-in-law Leny and Doreen.

The family will receive their friends at the Egan Funeral Home, 203 Queen Street S. (Hwy. 50), Bolton (905-857-2213) Saturday, January 16 from twelve noon until time of funeral service in the chapel at 2 o'clock.

Interment Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bolton.


If desired, memorial donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.