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Autoworkers on both sides of border vote overwhelmingly in favour of strike mandate against Big 3

Unifor, Canada's largest private-sector union, says its members at Ford, General Motors and Stellantis all voted between 98 and 99 per cent in favour of a strike mandate.

Unifor members in Canada voted this weekend, while UAW voted late last week

A group of union leaders walking in a hotel hallway looking at the camera, some wearing shirts that read: Unifor autotalks 2023.

Workers at a trio of major automakers have voted overwhelmingly in favour of allowing their union to call a strike if bargaining committees can't secure new collective agreements in the coming months.

Unifor, Canada's largest private-sector union, says its members at Ford Motor Company, General Motors and Stellantis all voted between 98 and 99 per cent in favour of the strike mandate.

In Windsor, Ont., at Local 444, it was 98.1 per cent in favour of supporting strike action at Stellantis's assembly plant if it comes to that during Big 3 negotiations.

"If we withdraw our labour, it will be because the company isn't listening to what we need to get for our membership," said Local 444 president Dave Cassidy.

A collage of four logos

The vote took place over the weekend amid a pause in bargaining talks. The current batch of collective agreements, which cover 18,000 workers at the Detroit Three automakers, are set to expire before midnight on Sept. 18.

The results mirror a strike mandate handed down by members of the U.S.-based United Auto Workers (UAW) union on Friday who are negotiating with the trio of automakers at the same time.

UAW president Shawn Fain said bargaining will continue up until contracts expire.

"A lot's gotta happen in 20 days, and you know, we can get there, just so everyone knows. You know, it is possible for us to get where we need to be, but these companies gotta buckle down and get serious about your demands and about you getting your share of equity."

Unifor national president Lana Payne issued a release saying the union's bargaining teams are set to resume talks with support from members across the auto sector and are prepared to take any necessary action to achieve their goals.

She said their bargaining committees are focused on improving pensions, increasing wages and securing good union jobs in a future set to be dominated by electric vehicles.


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