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UPDATE 1-Canadian union says it will not back down on GM strike

UPDATE 1-Canadian union says it will not back down on GM strike
From Reuters - October 12, 2017

(Adds comments from Unifor president, analyst, details on GMs Detroit plant)

By Susan Taylor

TORONTO, Oct 12 (Reuters) - The Canadian union leading a month-long strike at a General Motors Co plant in Ontario is refusing to make concessions to settle the matter, even after the U.S. automaker threatened to move all production to Mexico.

Contract talks at the CAMI plant, which stalled over job security and sparked the first strike at a Canadian assembly plant since 1996, have idled production of GMs popular Equinox sport utility vehicle.

The union, called Unifor, will not withdraw its demand that the largest U.S. automaker pledge to keep Equinox production in Canada, said Unifor President Jerry Dias said on Thursday.

GM, at some time or another, is going to have to make a commitment to Canada, its going to have to make a commitment to the United States and they cant continue to shift our jobs to Mexico, Dias told Reuters on the sidelines of NAFTA talks in Washington.

It is not possible to cut Canadian costs below those of Mexico, where workers make $2 an hour, Dias said.

GM Canada was not immediately available for comment.

The issue, escalating just as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discusses the North American Free Trade Agreement with U.S. and Mexican leaders, also coincides with GMs plan to scale back production and jobs at a Detroit assembly plant later this month. [nW1N1MD018

The government of Ontario urged both sides on Thursday to immediately resolve the high-stakes dispute.

I feel like were engaged in a poker game, but the interests of Ontario are sitting on the table right now, Ontario Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid told Reuters.

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