Unifor reaches deal with Stellantis after brief strike

Lana Payne celebrates on stage as Unifor, Canada’s largest private-sector union, announce Payne as their new president to replace outgoing leader Jerry Dias in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Aug. 10, 2022.

Cole Burston | Reuters

DETROIT — Canadian union Unifor and Stellantis have reached a tentative agreement early Monday morning, ending a brief strike that began after a deal wasn’t reached by 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

The Canadian work stoppage involved more than 8,200 autoworkers at several facilities in the Canadian province of Ontario, including two large assembly plants that produce the Chrysler 300 sedan and Pacifica minivan and the Dodge Challenger and Charger muscle cars.

The strike and tentative deal, which must still be ratified by union members, occurred two days after Stellantis reached a tentative deal for about 43,000 U.S. autoworkers with the United Auto Workers union after roughly six weeks of targeted strikes that began Sept. 15.

Details of the tentative agreement between Unifor and Stellantis were not immediately available. The deal was patterned off a ratified agreement between the union and Ford Motor. That deal included hourly wage increases of up to 25%, reactivation of a cost-of-living allowance to battle inflation and a shorter progression for workers to reach top pay, among other new or altered benefits.

“I am very proud of the negotiating teams and thankful for their commitment and focused effort in reaching a tentative agreement with Unifor,” Stellantis North America COO Mark Stewart said in a statement.

Unifor National President Lana Payne on X, formerly known as Twitter, thanked the “bargaining committee and members! Solidarity. Always.”

The Canadian work stoppage and tentative deal occurred nearly three weeks after Unifor launched a roughly 12-hour national strike against General Motors after the sides failed to reach a tentative agreement by a union-set deadline.

Unifor, which represents 18,000 Canadian workers at the Detroit automakers, took a more traditional approach to its negotiations than its U.S. counterpart. The Canadian union is negotiating with each automaker separately and using a deal first reached last month with Ford as a pattern for GM and Stellantis.

That traditional patterned-bargaining approach runs counter to the UAW’s new strategy of bargaining with all three automakers at once. The American auto union has reached tentative agreements with Ford and Stellantis but not GM.

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