Dias: GM's plans to produce Equinox in Mexico 'war on Canada'


He says the union is still negotiating with the company.

Unifor National president Jerry Dias says GM has declared "war on Canada" by ramping up production of its Equinox to do more work now done at the CAMI plant.

Talks between General Motors and Canadian union Unifor seem to have broken down after the automaker mentioned it might wind down production of the Chevrolet Equinox at the striking CAMI Assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario.

"CAMI (the Ingersoll plant) is the poster child for what is wrong with North American Free Trade Agreement". Job security is a main issue in the dispute.

"General Motors did declare war on Canada", Dias said, in a phone interview Thursday from Washington, D.C., where NAFTA trade talks are being held.

"This is GM saying to us - and saying to Canada - we're going to ramp up production in Mexico and we're going to flood the North American market from cars built in Mexico".

"The issue is that Mexican autoworkers earn U.S. $2 per hour and the movement generates good middle-class jobs in Mexico", Dias explained during his recent participation in talks about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The workers at the plant, which produces the hot-selling Chevy Equinox, walked off the line more than four weeks ago and GM is beginning to feel the pinch.

So far Unifor Local 88's president says the union is staying optimistic as long as both sides remain at the bargaining table.

The CAMI plant is a prime example of a trend that has been happening for years, with GM adding plants in Mexico while closing Canadian and USA plants, Dias said. "It has to stop".

The ongoing talks between General Motors and Unifor-represented workers at the company's plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, may be heading south - literally.

Earlier this week, Trudeau met with politicians and business leaders in Washington as part of his government's NAFTA negotiation strategy.