GM plays Mexico wildcard in Canada

Company laying off workers at other facilities due to strike.

The union representing striking Cami autoworkers says General Motors is making plans to ramp up production of the Chevrolet Equinox SUV in Mexico.

Unifor leader Jerry Dias told Reuters on Wednesday that GM officials said they would ramp up production of the vehicle at two plants in Mexico that build the Equinox and a similar model, the GMC Terrain if the walkout is not called off. As part of the talks, employees are demanding a commitment of new product for the plant so the threat of shifting the Equinox to Mexico is especially inflammatory.

"CAMI (the Ingersoll plant) is the poster child for what is wrong with North American Free Trade Agreement".

About 2,800 Cami Unifor workers in Ingersoll have been on strike for three weeks.

In a Facebook post after the strike began, Dias observed that if you want to see what a NAFTA-caused race to the bottom looks like, go to Ingersoll, Ontario.

"The issue is that Mexican autoworkers earn USA $2 per hour and the movement generates good middle-class jobs in Mexico", Dias explained during his recent participation in talks about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Dias has said Unifor will not back any deals unless they're confident that more jobs won't be shifted to Mexican plants.

The plants will assemble the model for the North American market, according to United States Unifor representative Jerry Dias.

"The members of Unifor Local 88 have asked General Motors for assurance that the plant, which has won many awards for the quality of their work, will continue to be the lead producer of the top-selling Equinox for the duration of their new agreement", he said.

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