UPDATE 2-GM, Canada union continue final talks, no indication of progress
(New throughout, adds background and lack of comment from car company)
By Ethan Lou
TORONTO, Sept 17 (Reuters) - General Motors Co and the Canadian union Unifor kept negotiating on Saturday, divided ahead of a looming strike deadline over union demands that the U.S. carmaker commit to new vehicle models at its Oshawa, Ontario, plant.
Unifor President Jerry Dias, determined to keep GM from moving jobs out of Canada, said Saturday morning there had been no significant progress. Later in a midday update, the union gave no indication of the status of the talks.
The four-year contract covering the workers of GM, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ford Motor Co in the province of Ontario expires on Monday. The union chose GM as its strike target for contract talks, with any deal setting the pattern for the next round of talks with the other manufacturers.
Contract talks could save 2,500 jobs at GM's Oshawa car assembly or take the plant one step closer to closure.
Canada has been struggling to get new investment from automakers in its once-thriving car industry, losing out to the southern United States and lower-cost Mexico.
Between 2001 and 2013, some 14,300 jobs were lost in vehicle manufacturing in Canada, according to the Automotive Policy Research Center in Hamilton, Ontario.
There are no obvious products that would go into GM's Oshawa plant and the automaker has previously said it will only make future product decisions after a labor deal. Continued...