Canadian labor union Unifor has announced it will enter talks with Fiat Chrysler next after reaching a tentative agreement with General Motors on Tuesday.
Unifor is hoping to convince Fiat Chrysler and company CEO Sergio Marchionne to upgrade the paint shop at its Brampton facility, which currently builds the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Challenger. The paint shop at the site, which would take millions of dollars to overhaul, is over 30 years old, while the body shop was last updated in 1998.
Marchionne incited some panic at the Brampton facility earlier this year when he said the next-generation Chrysler 300 was capable of being built at its Windsor Assembly plant in Windsor, Ontario. The Windsor plant was recently overhauled to accommodate production of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, making it much more up-to-date than Brampton.
Unifor will have to secure investment in the aging Brampton facility in order for the plant to receive a new product. For FCA to do that, it will likely be looking for some sort of incentive from the Ontario government. FCA invested in the Windsor site with zero government incentives, but Marchionne said he based that decision on Windsor’s “viability as a standalone entity.”
The union’s tentative agreement with GM will sees the automaker commit to moving some engine production from Mexico to St. Catharines, Ontario and also building a new product at its Oshawa Assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario. Wage increases for existing employees and new hires, along with signing bonuses, were also agreed upon.
Unifor president Jerry Dias wasn’t overly hopeful in the union’s ability to reach a deal with GM, so after those successful negotiations, he’s confident he can easily reach a deal with FCA and Ford.
“If we can get an agreement with General Motors without a dispute I’m very, very comfortable that we can find a settlement with the other two,” Dias told Canadian media on Tuesday.