Some Magna workers to strike in Canada after rejecting contract: union

TORONTO (Reuters) - Workers at Magna International’s Integram vehicle seat plant in Windsor, Ontario will strike after voting against a tentative labor contract, their union, Unifor, said on Sunday.

Unifor Local 444 union members picket outside the Integram (Magna) Seating plant after voting to reject a tentative agreement in Tecumseh, Ontario, Canada, November 6, 2016. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

With about 1,000 unionized workers, the unit builds seats for General Motors Co’s CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, which assembles the Chevrolet Equinox, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Windsor van plant, the union said.

“We’re going to the plant to remove the workers from the facility, create picket lines and in essence connect with Magna corporation to start conversations about how we can remedy this,” Local 444 President Dino Chiodo said shortly after the vote. “Our members are obviously looking for more.”

A union Twitter account said 57.9 percent voted to reject the deal.

Chiodo said the strike could halt production of the Equinox crossover vehicle within a couple shifts if it is not resolved. GM could not immediately be reached for comment.

Fiat Chrysler spokeswoman Lou Ann Gosselin said the Windsor van plant, which builds all the automaker’s minivans for the North American market including the new Chrysler Pacifica, had already halted production because of a fire at another supplier.

Gosselin said the company expects to be producing normally by Nov. 14 so the strike should have no impact unless it extends beyond that point.

Chiodo said some members at Magna had been unhappy with wages and with a deduction they pay toward their benefits. The tentative four-year contract offered raises of 2 percent, 2 percent, 1.5 percent and 1.7 percent.

Magna could not immediately be reached for comment.

The vote was unrelated to a closely watched ratification vote at another Unifor local that represents Ford Motor Co manufacturing workers. Results from that vote are expected after 7 p.m.

Reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by Paul Simao