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Cami union leaders bound for Detroit as strike deepens

By Hank Daniszewski, The London Free Press

Unifor workers on strike at Cami in Ingersoll cast shadows on a warm day. (MIKE HENSEN, The London Free Press)

Unifor workers on strike at Cami in Ingersoll cast shadows on a warm day. (MIKE HENSEN, The London Free Press)

Union officials at the Cami Automotive plant in Ingersoll are headed to Detroit Thursday to meet with senior General Motors officials in a determined bid to make some progress in the 11-day-old strike.

Dan Borthwick, president of the 2,800-member Unifor Local 88, said two days of renewed bargaining this week have stalled out despite a new offer that the union presented to the company this week.

“We had some discussions on Tuesday and Wednesday that went nowhere,” Borthwick said.

The Unifor delegation bound for Detroit will include national president Jerry Dias

Borthwick said Unifor requested the meeting, hoping that dealing with more senior GM executives will bring a breakthrough.

“We are trying anything and everything to get this resolved. The current process is not working here in Ingersoll,” he said.

Borthwick confirmed that the main issue in the negotiations is still job security.

Earlier this year GM moved production of the GMC Terrain earlier this year to Mexico, resulting in the loss of about 400 jobs. Unifor is seeking a commitment from GM that more production of the Equinox SUV, the only vehicle built at the plant, will not be entirely moved to Mexico.

Meanwhile 2,800 workers continue to maintain the picket line at the plant in its first strike since 1992.

hdaniszewski@postmedia.com