UPDATE 2-Unifor to strike JCI if company shuts Ontario plant

Wed Jun 4, 2014 1:26pm EDT
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(Adds JCI response, update on Unifor's efforts at Toyota Ontario plants)

By Bernie Woodall

DETROIT, June 4 (Reuters) - Unifor, which represents Canadian auto workers, will strike at Johnson Controls Inc's Whitby, Ontario, plant if the parts maker does not reverse its plan to close the facility in a couple of years, the head of the union said on Wednesday.

Unifor President Jerry Dias said at the United Auto Workers convention in Detroit that the Canadian union would "shut down GM" at its Oshawa plant, which gets interiors and seats from Whitby, unless JCI changes its plans.

Dias said the deadline for JCI to act is August, when the current contract for 300 workers at Whitby expires. Unifor-JCI contract talks at Whitby will probably begin late this month, he said.

JCI officials said the company did not comment on labor negotiations.

GM said the issue was between JCI and Unifor. "We are not able to comment on labor issues facing an independent business," GM said.

Dias said he had met with JCI officials near Detroit on Tuesday to warn them that the union would strike. He said there was no immediate reaction from the company.

JCI has not made any physical moves to shut the Whitby plant, Dias said.   Continued...