Unifor says Fiat-Chrysler next in auto talks, pending ratification of GM deal

Unifor President Jerry Dias speaks during the Unifor Convention on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

TORONTO — Unifor says the next company in its contract negotiations with the Detroit Three automakers will be Fiat-Chrysler Automobile, pending ratification of its tentative deal with General Motors.

The union, which represents about 23,000 auto workers in Canada, reached a four-year agreement earlier this week with GM, averting a possible strike.

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That deal is expected to set the pattern for negotiations with the other two big U.S. automakers.

The GM agreement, which includes wage increases, signing bonuses and lump sum payments, also secured investments from the company in its Canadian operations.

But the union also agreed that new hires will start with a defined contribution pension plan, rather than the hybrid plan for current employees.

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Union president Jerry Dias says there will be no deal without a commitment to new investments in Canada.

Fiat-Chrysler employs 9,750 Unifor members at its assembly plants in Brampton, Ont., and Windsor, Ont., as well as a casting plant in Toronto.

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