UPDATE 3-Canada Unifor union ratifies C$554-million new investment GM deal

Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:29pm EDT
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(Adds union comment on GM pledge to eliminate pension deficit)

By Ethan Lou

TORONTO, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Canada's Unifor union has ratified a deal with General Motors Co that will see C$554 million ($420.84 million) invested in local plants, the labor group said on Sunday as it prepares for related talks with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.

The deal was ratified after 64.7 percent of workers voted approve it, Unifor said in an evening statement.

Unifor, which represents some 4,000 GM workers, reached the deal on Monday. The four-year deal granted job security and wage increases, but less favorable pensions than before.

GM's Canadian arm also pledged to eliminate the C$2.3-billion deficit in the pension plans for unionized workers and retirees, the union said.

The ratification is expected to affect some 16,000 Unifor workers with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Ford Motor Co, whose contracts also are up for negotiation.

Under a process called patterned bargaining, Unifor's agreement with GM will be used as a template for talks with the other companies, which are expected to agree to similar terms.

Unifor has said it will negotiate next with Fiat Chrysler, and has set a tentative strike deadline of midnight Oct. 10.   Continued...