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US and Canada autoworkers welcome GM and Fiat Chrysler investments

3 November, 2020As the auto industry is facing plunging sales and factory shutdowns, autoworkers and their unions welcome GM’s and Fiat Chrysler’s decisions to invest in unionized factories to manufacture electric vehicles.

On 20 October, Terry Dittes, UAW international vice president announced an agreement with General Motors on plans to invest US$2 billion into six US plants and modernize the Spring Hill, Tennessee assembly plant to build the next generation all-electric vehicles.

The Tennessee site, organized by UAW Local 1853, will build the new electric crossover Cadillac Lyriq, while members of UAW Local 602 in Delta Township, Michigan, will build the new generation Acadia.

Dittes says:

“The future unveiled by General Motors is a commitment to UAW members’ future work based on their skill, sweat and craftsmanship. UAW members are committed to making GM’s investment in these new vehicles continued top sellers and best in class next generation electric vehicles.”

The day before, on 19 October, members of Canadian union Unifor at Fiat Chrysler in Brampton, Etobicoke, Windsor, Mississauga, Montreal and Red Deer ratified by a 78 per cent majority a new three-year collective bargaining agreement with the auto company. The agreement also includes significant investments, job security and economic gains for workers.

“This agreement solidifies and builds on FCA’s footprint, with a game changing investment of up to C$1.58 billion (US$1.2 billion) for a state-of-the-art platform to build both Plug–In Hybrid Vehicles and Battery Electric Vehicles, along with C$50 million (US$37.6 million) investment to bring multiple derivatives of the Dodge Charger and Challenger to the Brampton plant where production of the Chrysler 300 is being extended,”

says Jerry Dias, Unifor national president.

“Both deals are a good sign for a brighter future for workers in times of massive transformation in the auto industry,” says Atle Høie, IndustriALL assistant general secretary. “We welcome secure investments in technologies for the future, creating work at organized facilities.”