Canadian JCI workers reach tentative pact

Strike could have severely hampered GM Oshawa plant

Canadian union workers at an interiors plant that supplies General Motors’ Oshawa assembly complex have reached a tentative contract agreement that could avert a strike at the supplier plant.

Unifor, the successor union of the CAW, has agreed to a tentative contract at Johnson Controls Inc.’s interiors plant in Whitby, Ontario, said Unifor official Jim Mitchell in an email today to Automotive News. The plant has about 200 workers.

In a fiery Detroit speech in June to the UAW Constitution Convention, Unifor President Jerry Dias said the union would strike at Whitby if JCI tried to go ahead with plans to close the plant.

Dias said a strike at Whitby would cripple production at Oshawa. GM has two assembly lines there that produce two generations of Chevrolet Impala sedans, the Buick Regal sedan, Cadillac XTS, Chevrolet Equinox crossover and Chevrolet Camaro sports car.

In the email, Mitchell said more details of the agreement would be made available after workers meet on the contract this Sunday. The previous three-year contract was set to expire Aug. 21.

As part of that contract, Whitby workers made concessions on a JCI commitment that the plant would remain open beyond the three-year contract, Dias told UAW delegates. Dias’ comments were widely reported in June.

A call and email to JCI seeking comment were not immediately returned this afternoon.

You can reach David Barkholz at -- Follow David on Twitter: @barkholzatan