Solidarity rally at CAMI Friday afternoon expected to draw thousands

Striking CAMI workers.
Striking CAMI workers. AM980 London

It’s been nearly three weeks since 2,800 unionized workers hit the picket lines at General Motors’ CAMI Automotive plant in Ingersoll, Ont.

A solidarity rally is being held today at the plant as talks continue between Unifor and GM. The union is expecting thousands of people to show up to show their support for striking workers at the facility who are entering Day 19 of their strike.

The major issues in the dispute are wages, benefits and job security.

READ MORE: CAMI strike impacts London parts supplier

Unifor wants GM to make assurances about CAMI’s future, calling on the automaker to make the plant a lead producer of the Chevy Equinox.

Union spokesman Mike Van Boekel told AM980 they had a good week of negotiations, but they’re still stuck on some big issues, specifically job security.

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“[We’re] still optimistic … we’re waiting for a letter from them [GM] and we’ll sit out there until we get one but right now it’s in their hands we’re just waiting for that letter to show up,” Van Boekel said.

CAMI used to produce the GMC Terrain, but the company moved the production line to Mexico earlier this year resulting in hundreds of layoffs.

The two sides have agreed to break for the Thanksgiving long weekend and will pick up discussions again on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Striking CAMI employees feel optimistic with union reps back at the table

Today’s rally is set to run from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Unifor’s national president Jerry Dias, as well as Van Boekel, will address workers and other supporters who join them at the event.