United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams stated on Monday the U.S. union will support Canada’s unionized auto workers during agreement talks with General Motors however declined to state whether the UAW would refuse work at GM plants in case of a Canadian strike.
Williams stated in an interview he believes GM and Jerry Dias, president of the Canadian union Unifor, will “come to a conclusion that’s best for all parties” and hopes they can reach a brand-new four-year agreement without a strike.
Dias and Unifor have threatened the strike of about 4,000 employees at GM plants in Ontario unless a new four-year contract is reached by September 19.
” The UAW is going to support the Canadian auto employees,” said Williams. Williams consulted with Dias on Sunday.
A strike would have causal sequences at U.S. plants, particularly if Unifor employees walk off their tasks at an engine and transmission plant in St Catharines.
Williams would not discuss whether the UAW would decline additional work to make up for lost output if Unifor’s GM employees strike at 2 Ontario plants.
” I do not wish to discuss that since I do not know what it will bring us, however we’ll do whatever we can to help (Unifor) in any way we can,” Williams stated.
If GM asks for extra work at the UAW’s plants, “we’ll have conversations with General Motors and tell them how disappointed we are”.
Existing agreements expire September 19 for Canadian GM, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ford Motor Co employees. Dias selected GM as its “strike target,” implying the union will attempt to get a deal with GM and utilize it as an overview for deals at the others.
Dias recently stated he anticipated the UAW “would respect any action” Unifor takes and not change production from General Motors’s St Catharines factory.