Bargaining Update #1: Unifor ready for Detroit Three negotiations

Profile picture for 666601
|June 23, 2023

Negotiations with Detroit Three (D3) automakers are approaching quickly and will officially begin on August 10 in Toronto.

Every round of auto talks presents unique challenges and opportunities. In this round, we will work to build on historic gains made in 2020 bargaining and continue the momentum created over the past three years.
Unifor’s Auto Council, comprised of national and local union leadership, helped build this momentum by developing a new vision for the future of Canada’s auto sector called “Navigating the Road Ahead”. This policy was released last year.
National and local union leadership also worked tirelessly to successfully advocate for additional investments and product commitments in our auto plants. None of these important developments could have happened without the hard work and dedication of every single Detroit 3 Unifor member. However, with these opportunities come challenges, including lengthy periods to retool our plants for the electric vehicle future, and uncertainty about future transition plans for internal combustion engine powertrain facilities.
That’s why we’ve chosen to make Auto Talks 2023 about ‘Navigating the Road Ahead’. It’s about building on past gains and taking the challenges of the EV transition head on.
As National President and Master Bargaining Chairs, we are proud to lead a coordinated team including Shane Wark, Unifor Assistant to the National Officers, Dino Chiodo, Unifor Auto Director and your Local and Master bargaining committees. Your Auto Talks bargaining team is supported by Unifor’s national departments including Research, Health, Safety, and Environment, Pensions and Benefits, Skilled Trades, Women’s and Communications.
The union worked diligently over the past year to prepare for Auto Talks 2023. Work on membership surveys is now complete. In May, Unifor’s Special Auto Council brought together local union delegates, select retired member representatives, and national staff to discuss and prioritize member demands. 
Among the hundreds of specific demands received, Auto Council identified the following core priorities:
  • Pensions
  • Wage package
  • Transition issues related to the shift to electric vehicle manufacturing (e.g. Retooling period)
  • Confirmation of investment and product commitments, including specific product allocations and timelines.
The union will focus on these core priorities, and other collective bargaining priorities identified by our members throughout the bargaining process.
Here is a general timeline for collective bargaining:
May 17-18                 Unifor Special Auto Council
June 28                     Unifor will serve “notice to bargain” for all applicable Detroit 3 bargaining units
August 10                 Formal opening of negotiations begin at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto
August 17-20           Unifor Bargaining Worker Power Conference and Canadian Council in Halifax
August 23                 Bargaining resumes
August 26-27           Strike authorization votes held for each bargaining unit
September 4            Labour Day events
September 5            Bargaining continues
September 18          Detroit Three contracts expire at 11:59 p.m.
Unifor will continue to provide members with important informational updates regularly. Any questions related to Auto Talks 2023 can be sent to [email protected]
In solidarity,
Lana Payne, National President
John D’Agnolo, Ford Master Bargaining Chair

Jason Gale, GM Master Bargaining Chair

James Stewart, Stellantis Master Bargaining Chair
Profile picture for 666601
About Unifor
Unifor is a Canadian union with a modern, inclusive approach to serving members and improving our workplaces and communities.