TORONTO, Sept 18 Contract negotiations between
Canada's Unifor union and General Motors Co were going
around the clock, the labor group said on Sunday ahead of a
Monday night strike deadline at some of the automaker's Canadian
The two sides have been divided over union demands that the
U.S.-based carmaker commit to new vehicle models at its Oshawa,
In its update on Sunday afternoon, Unifor did not give any
indication of the state of the talks, noting only that its focus
on "product allocation and investment" had not changed.
GM did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The four-year contract covering the workers of GM, Fiat
Chrysler Automobiles and Ford Motor Co
in the province of Ontario expires on Monday. The union chose GM
as its strike target for contract talks, with any deal setting
the pattern for the next round of talks with the other
Contract talks could save 2,500 jobs at GM's Oshawa car
assembly or take the plant one step closer to closure.
Canada has been struggling to get new investment from
automakers in its once-thriving car industry, losing out to the
Southern United States and lower-cost Mexico.
Between 2001 and 2013, some 14,300 jobs were lost in vehicle
manufacturing in Canada, according to the Automotive Policy
Research Center in Hamilton, Ontario.
The automaker was already on the verge of shutting one of
two assembly lines at its Oshawa plant, with several vehicles
either produced in another country or expected to move in 2017.
There are no obvious products that would go into the Oshawa
plant, and the automaker said previously it would only make
future product decisions after a labor deal.
Still, the union has said it will not sign without a vehicle
commitment, calling it pivotal for the future of Canada's auto
industry. Pensions and wages are also on the table.
Unifor President Jerry Dias said on Saturday morning he was
aware of the looming strike deadline. Without a deal, the
union's 3,900 GM members would legally be considered on strike
at 12 a.m. (0400 GMT) on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Ethan Lou in Toronto; Editing by Peter Cooney)