Dias, in an interview with Automotive News Canada, said "major philosophical differences" over the long-term future of CAMI Assembly in Ingersoll, Ontario, are driving a wedge between GM and Unifor.
The Ingersoll Ontario plant known as CAMI used to produce the GMC "Terrain" sports utility vehicle and Chevrolet crossover "Equinox".
Unifor Local 88 chair, Mike Van Boekel, says when production of the Terrain was moved to Mexico, they knew they would have to fight to keep production of the Chevrolet Equinox.
Earlier this year, GM announced a layoff of some 600 workers at the Canadian plant, and so far 424 jobs have been shaved due to buyouts, retirements and some recalls of formerly laid-off workers.
The existing labor contract expired Sunday evening at 10:00 p.m., which is when the strike was authorized. The Equinox is produced in both Canada and Mexico.
Striking workers at the CAMI plant in Ingersoll say the number one issue is job security. It also previously made the Terrain, but production of that is now taking place in Mexico.
In a statement to Cars.com, GM Canada said it's "made very positive progress on several issues over the past weeks" with Unifor, but it's "disappointed that we were not able to complete a new agreement".
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The union says cheaper labour costs in Mexico and NAFTA are to blame for the job losses this year.
In an effort to bring an end to the GM strike, the automotive company is seeking to resume negotiations with Unifor.
Shares of GM were inching higher during Monday morning trading. The company said that in 2015 it invested 800 million Canadian dollars ($656 million U.S.) in the plant to build the new Equinox.
But Krebs noted that while concerns about moving production to Mexico have been an issue, Cami is likely to face competition for new products from plants in MI and OH that make passenger cars but could be retooled to make SUVs, such as the Equinox.
As of Sept 1, GM only had enough inventory of the Equinox model to last 53 days, a rather tight level of supply for the automaker.
- The last contract talks, in September 2013, ended with 89% of workers approving a four-year pact that, among other things, extended benefits and other full-time perks to about 300 people who'd been contract workers.
GM of Canada directly employs 8,072 employees, which means roughly one-third of their employees in Canada are now on strike.