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Fiat-Chrysler continues contract talks with Canadian workers

Fiat-Chrysler continues contract talks with Canadian workers

As the strike deadline approaches local Unifor members are cautiously optimistic a deal can be reached between the union and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

"Unifor is fighting for the pattern and absolutely nothing less", she said, noting that the two sides have made progress. Unifor is bargaining for new labor deals that would protect Canada's auto-manufacturing jobs amid a surge in new factory investment in Mexico, where labor costs are cheaper.

"Our priorities haven't changed about stabilizing the Canadian footprint", he said.

"At this point, with eight hours left before our strike deadline, FCA has made no firm commitments and continues to resist the pattern agreement that we have secured". The union won new factory investment at its Canadian plants and put new hires on a faster track to getting pay increases. Canadian labor officials and the United Auto Workers in the US have followed pattern bargaining with Chrysler, GM and Ford Motor Co. for several decades. "That means we need to nail down a major investment for a paint shop in Brampton (assembly plant)". While specifics about potential government support were not brought up, Dias said the meeting was important to show FCA that the provincial government recognizes the importance of the auto industry to its economy.

Unifor has said its top priority is securing jobs for its members by persuading the company to commit to investment in its Canadian operations.

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"We need to make sure we have a good idea of what's going on in Etobicoke (casting plant), so that we can figure out how we're going to deal with our members who are going to be displaced as a result of the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 ceasing production".

The union is looking for the company to invest in its Brampton, Ont., assembly plant, which makes the Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger, and its Etobicoke, Ont., parts plant.

A prolonged strike could have a significant impact on FCA's USA sales. The Automotive News says the company has about 70 days supply on hand of the Pacifica minivan, enough to get through a short work stoppage.

The union will be holding regular bargaining updates throughout the day.

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