General Motors workers on strike over jobs- NAFTA blamed

General Motors Ontario assembly plant builds one of GM's most popular cars the Chevrolet Equinox utility vehicle

Talks between General Motors Co. and Unifor over a new contract at the auto maker' s Cami Automotive plant stalled Sunday over the issue of contract language that would secure production of the Chevrolet Equinox at the plant.

Unifor and GM had been in talks on the weekend, but no agreement was reached by the strike deadline Sunday night.

The Chevrolet Equinox is the only vehicle now being produced at CAMI.

"They're telling us that the GM plant in St. Catharines that supplies their motors and engines, they will be going down Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning and that 1,700 workers are out of a job".

Workers began picketing outside of the auto plant at 11 p.m. Sunday.

In a statement to Cars.com, GM Canada said it's "made very positive progress on several issues over the past weeks" with Unifor, but it's "disappointed that we were not able to complete a new agreement".

The Equinox, which was redesigned for the 2017 model year after an investment of about $500-million at the Ingersoll, Ont., plant, is one of the hottest selling GM vehicles in both Canada and the United States.

The Unifor union blames the move of the Terrain to San Luis Potosi, Mexico, from Ingersoll on NAFTA, which has created more favorable production costs for GM. We encourage Unifor to resume negotiations and to continue working together to secure a competitive agreement.

Dias has emerged as the face for labor during renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement, pushing for higher working standards in both the USA and Mexico. The goal of this GM strike is for an agreement that the plant will become the main manufacturer of the Chevrolet Equinox. "As long as they can build in Mexico for $2 an hour or less, they'll do that". Like the U.S., Canada has lost automotive manufacturing jobs to Mexico in recent decades. The company said that in 2015 it invested 800 million Canadian dollars ($656 million U.S.) in the plant to build the new Equinox.

GM spokesperson Jennifer Wright offered reassurance, however, that the company is not anticipating slowdowns at any of its other Canadian plants.

The Ingersoll factory was excluded from the labor agreements that Unifor struck with US auto companies a year ago that secured more investment in Canada. The Equinox is also produced in Mexico and CAMI workers fear for the plant's future in Canada.

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