Unifor sets October 14 strike deadline in contract talks with Fiat Chrysler

A strike deadline in negotiations between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Unifor has been set for Oct. 14 at 11:59 p.m. EDT, according to union chief Jerry Dias.

The negotiations cover FCA’s Brampton and Windsor assembly plants in Ontario, which typically combine to build more than 500,000 vehicles annually, as well as a casting plant in Toronto. Talks between Unifor and FCA follow those between the union and Ford Motor Co., which ended after a three-year contract was ratified on Monday with 81 percent support from voting workers.

The negotiations affect about 9,000 hourly workers, according to Unifor.

Dias said it remained “awfully early” in talks to draw any conclusions about how they might go. Bargaining between the company and union formally resumed this week in Toronto after being put on pause for the Ford talks.

“We’re spending a lot of time on the local issues,” Dias told Automotive News Canada Friday. “FCA has yet to tell us that they’re accepting the pattern, but they will. They understand the way the system works, so I don’t think that’ll be a problem. My preoccupation is about product and stability. We’ve got everybody working right now, to say the least.”

FCA, in a statement released Friday afternoon, said: “FCA Canada welcomes the opportunity to move our discussions with Unifor forward. We are committed to reaching an agreement that will allow us to continue investing in our future and create opportunities for our employees, their families and the communities where we live and work.” 

Unifor is looking to secure at least one new product for assembly at the Windsor plant, which builds the Chrysler Pacifica, Voyager and Grand Caravan minivans. The third shift at the Windsor plant was cut earlier this year amid declining sales in the segment, costing about 1,500 workers their jobs.

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