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New ‘clear roadmap’ deal could see Dodge muscle cars built in Windsor, Jeep Compass come to Brampton

The next generation of vehicles to be built by Stellantis employees in Canada has been confirmed by the automaker, according to Unifor documents obtained by CBC News.

Autoworkers to vote on tentative deal starting this weekend

Worker shown opening a door at Stellantis' Windsor assembly plant.

The Windsor Assembly Plant will build the next generation of Dodge muscle cars and Brampton will start building the Jeep Compass after retooling is finished, according to a copy of the master bargaining report CBC News has obtained and verified as authentic by a second source.

Unifor circulated the details to members in a bargaining report on Friday as it aims to ratify a new three-year collective agreement with the 8,200 members it represents at the automaker. Voting begins on Saturday.

Stellantis has not confirmed the details.

The company and Unifor did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

$3B in new investment, says union

Both plants in Windsor, Ont., and Brampton, Ont., have dealt with uncertainty over the last decade as the auto industry faced the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis, and as it prepares for the transition to electric vehicle production.

If passed, the new deal will "considerably improve the living standards of every single Unifor member at Stellantis in Canada," Unifor national president Lana Payne said Monday.

"Our goal was to achieve investments and job security for the years and decades to come."

In August, Unifor entered into contract bargaining with Ford, General Motors and Stellantis (the parent company of Jeep, Dodge and Chrysler) with union leadership making protections for the transition to EV production a priority.

This tentative agreement follows the pattern deal set by ratified agreements with Ford and General Motors, which includes a 20 per cent wage increase over the three-year deal in addition to a cost of living allowance adjustment.

Workers at Ontario plants in Windsor, Brampton, Etobicoke and Red Deer, Alta., went on strike after the union's bargaining deadline on Sunday at 11:59 p.m. passed without a deal.

The strike lasted less than eight hours after Unifor announced a tentative agreement had been reached.

Unifor announced it had struck a deal that secured $3 billion of investment in the company's Canadian facilities and a "clear roadmap" on the future of the plants in Windsor and Brampton.

Pacifica remains in Windsor as Brampton gets Jeep

The Windsor Assembly Plant will continue to build the Chrysler Pacifica in addition to the "next generation Dodge Muscle Cars," according to the bargaining report.

That will last for the life of the agreement and return the plant to a three-shift operation with 4,700 jobs by 2025, according to the union.

The Windsor plant has been offline since late September as the facility retools to be able to build the company's large-platform vehicles, which includes vehicles using internal combustion engines (ICE), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles (BEV).

Those batteries will be made in Windsor at the NextStar battery plant, a $5-billion joint venture between LG Energy Solution and Stellantis that's expected to employ 2,500 people once fully operational in 2025.

Unifor wants to represent those employees, and as part of bargaining, Unifor said Stellantis has committed to further discussion on the matter.

Unifor says Stellantis pushed to outsource jobs

4 days ago

Duration 4:38

Featured VideoUnifor national president Lana Payne discusses the deal reached with Stellantis that 8,200 employees primarily in Brampton, Ont., and Windsor, Ont., will vote on over the weekend.

Brampton's 3,200 employees had built the the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger.

The company will retool the plant to build medium-platform vehicles, which includes ICE and BEV vehicles, according to the bargaining report.

Unifor said the company has confirmed the Brampton plant will produce the next generation of the Jeep Compass.

That operation is scheduled to shut down for retooling on Jan.1, 2024, and is forecasted to have the first shift back to work in the fourth quarter of 2025.

The plant is forecasted to return to a three-shift operation by the third quarter of 2026, with 2,730 people employed.

New EV special transition measures

This agreement, if approved by members, will see the company pay workers laid off during the Windsor retooling shutdown a one-time lump sum payment of $240 for every week they received Supplemental Unemployment Benefits, or SUB.

The SUB is an agreement with the company where employees receiving unemployment during a layoff see those benefits topped up to 70 per cent of their wage by Stellantis.

Unifor leadership votes in favour of the deal

On Friday, Unifor said local elected leadership at Stellantis plants voted unanimously in favour of the tentative agreement.

Final results from the membership vote in Brampton and Windsor are expected early next week.

This new deal also includes a commitment from the company to install multimillion-dollar air conditioning systems at both plants, require the company to notify employees of mandatory shift changes by the Wednesday of the week prior to the change, and study bringing on-site daycare at the company's plants in Brampton and Windsor.


Chris Ensing

CBC News

Chris Ensing is a reporter who has worked as a videojounalist and host for CBC News since 2011.

Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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