UPDATE 3-GM and Canada union far apart on product as strike looms

Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:11pm EDT
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(Recasts with interview with union president.)

By Allison Martell

TORONTO, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Canada's autoworkers' union Unifor and General Motors Co made little progress resolving the key issue of new investment in contract talks late on Sunday, the union's president said, just over 24 hours ahead of a strike deadline.

The automaker and the union representing its Canadian manufacturing workers have been divided over union demands that GM commit to building new vehicle models at its Oshawa, Ontario, plant.

"There's a hell of a lot of work to do and not a lot of time with which to do it," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias in an interview.

Asked whether the two sides were discussing a new product for GM's Oshawa assembly, Dias said: "They understand that they have to do something, but we're not really talking about anything specific, which is problematic."

Dias said the union has not yet received a contract proposal from GM, but he remains confident the automaker will eventually offer a product. He said the union will not extend its strike deadline.

GM declined to comment.

A 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 GM's deal setting the pattern for the other manufacturers.   Continued...