A limited strike by autoworkers in the U.S. is expected to affect the sector in Canada as the industry in both countries is deeply integrated.
About 13,000 U.S. workers went on strike Sept. 15 at the three big U.S. auto companies after they failed to reach a new contract.
Members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union began picketing at a General Motors assembly plant in Wentzville, Mo., a Ford factory in Wayne, Mich., near Detroit, and a Stellantis Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio.
The automakers rely on operations and suppliers in Canada and the U.S. as components criss-cross the border before they are assembled into a finished vehicle.
The strike comes as Unifor holds contract talks in Canada with the U.S. automakers.
The Canadian union is in bargaining with Ford Motor Co. ahead of its contract expiry on Sept. 18. Unifor hopes a deal with Ford can serve as a blueprint for workers at the other automakers.
ATA tells union to stop showboating
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) criticized the strike.
“Is this what the most pro-union president in history wants for America? Putting companies out of business, people out of jobs, work stoppages and now crippling strikes? If this is our future, we want nothing to do with it,” Chris Spear, ATA president and CEO said in a statement.
“Does anyone think demanding a 40% pay raise is reasonable, let alone realistic? Nor is a four-day work week, paid at 40 hours. How exactly do you assemble vehicles without your employees present?
“The UAW needs to stop showboating off the heels of this administration’s union-biased agenda, come to the table, and put our nation’s economy first,” he added.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 15, 2023.
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