Stellantis workers vote to accept new deal

Windsor

Stellantis workers represented by Unifor have a new collective agreement, the union announced Monday evening.

Production workers ratified by agreement by 60% CBC News

· Posted: Nov 06, 2023 5:32 PM EST | Last Updated: November 6, 2023

A worker walks towards the gate of the Windsor Assembly Plant on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023. (Dax Melmer/CBC) Stellantis workers have voted to accept a new collective agreement, a move that caps off Unifor’s 2023 auto contract negotiations, which have secured double-digit wage increases for employees at each of the Detroit Three automakers.

At the Windsor and Brampton Assembly plants, as well as the Etobicoke casting plant in Toronto, 60 per cent of votes cast were in favour of accepting the deal, Unifor announced Monday evening.

The ratification rate was 85 per cent or higher in other segments of Unifor’s membership in office and clerical, among others.  

The three-year collective agreement will cover about 8,200 Unifor members, including about 4,500 members at the Windsor Assembly Plant. 

The deal includes a nearly 20 per cent pay increase over the life of the contract, new paid holidays, cost of living allowances and a $10,000 signing bonus for full-time employees. Skilled trades workers will see wage increases of 25 per cent. 

By the end of the three-year agreement, a full-rate production worker will make $44.52 per hour, according to the union. 

“Unifor members at Stellantis will receive the same significant wage increases, pension improvements and electric vehicle (EV) transition income security measures as Unifor members at Ford and General Motors,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne.

“This contract also confirms investment and product commitments for Windsor, Brampton and Etobicoke, including the retooling of Brampton Assembly to build future EVs.”

The deal follows the pattern set by the Ford and General Motors deals earlier this fall. But workers at both General Motors and Stellantis were briefly on strike, for about 12 and seven hours respectively, after deals were not initially reached by negotiation deadlines set by the union. 

Unifor says Stellantis pushed to outsource jobs Unifor 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.

“It was always our intention to reward our Unifor-represented employees for their contributions to our business during this round of bargaining,” said Mark Stewart, chief operating officer of Stellantis North America, said in a statement Monday evening. 

Stewart said the Canadian workforce plays a key role in the company’s strategic plans and electric transition, “so it was especially important for us to reach an agreement that secures the future of the company for our employees, their families and our customers.”

The company says investment related to the Windsor Assembly plant is $1.89 billion and the plant is expected to return to a three-shift operation as it produces the next generation of Dodge muscle cars. 

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

Ratification by members at Stellantis caps off Unifor negotiations with the Detroit Three automakers that started in August. 

“This is the best agreement, one-time agreement, that any of our members have ever seen,” said James Stewart, Unifor’s Stellantis master bargaining chair, said in a press conference last week when the tentative agreement was announced.

Going into negotiations, the unions said it was focusing on pensions, wages, and income security for workers as the automakers transition to the production of electric vehicles. 

Unifor says it will also continue to talk with Stellantis on bargaining rights for future workers at the LG Energy Solution-Stellantis NextStar battery plant. 

The Stellantis 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.

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