The Membership of Local 88 have worked hard to achieve the “fastest launch in GM history.” There is now a problem with the supply chain’s ability to keep up with production. There has been lengthy talks between the Union and GM in the last few days. No plant has taken more downtime in the past 3.5 years than our plant due to issues of Covid, semi-conductors, retool and now battery supply. These issues are out of the control of our members.
Since the announcement last week discussions have been taking place with GM to find ways to further assist the membership during this upcoming layoff period, and to bring more money for members’ families over the next few months.
Overall GM seems to agree that changes are needed in our SUB agreement to help our members out during these unprecedented times. Ongoing discussions are taking place and these will determine how much help GM will give.
To clear up one issue, skilled Trades members will continue to work during this period. There are no plans to force trades members to layoff.
There are many issues. It appears due to timing that B shift members may miss the 2.5% raise prior to starting their layoff. This effects their SUB/IMP allotments. Some B shift members would also miss the 10-year level, which would increase their SUB entitlement to 78 weeks. Other issues include pension credits, SUB weeks, SUB levels (the reduction to 50% SUB is insufficient), waiting periods, members on leave, dental and the list goes on. There have been many phone calls from members who are in their final weeks of their IMP entitlement and will soon have nothing – we are very aware of all the concerns.
Unifor National has been very helpful raising our concerns with GM, however the timing has been tough as National are also all in on the Ford talks. Those talks have led to a tentative agreement. Brent Tree and Mike Van Boekel will be heading to Toronto later today and tomorrow to review the Ford agreement.
Our members are frustrated, angry and are looking for answers. Talks are continuing, sometimes well into the night. There are many issues, and we ask for your patience. There are plans in place, and some B shift members will likely start getting phone calls as we are working on resolving some of these issues and offering B shift members some options. Production continues for a few more weeks, and we are aware members wants some answers.
We are hopeful a resolve comes soon. There is a potential for one in the next 24 hours. It may not come for a week, but we will keep pushing. If GM is chosen next for bargaining, unifor and GM will both be in Toronto next week and that would be a good thing as we will have access to them – if an agreement has not been reached by then.
To be clear; GM is listening. The fact that the Collective Agreement is in effect until September means the company does not have to do much of anything beyond their contractual obligation, but they are listening. We feel some progress is being made, but there are still some issues that must be resolved.
Once again, thank you for your patience and understanding.