DETROIT — Increased spending on U.S. production by the Detroit 3, as dictated by the labor contracts they signed last fall, is good news for the UAW, but it puts the Canadian auto union in a tougher position going into its own negotiations this year.
Detroit 3 production in Canada is expected to fall 27 percent between now and 2023, when the new UAW contracts expire, according to data released last week by the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich. By contrast, the companies are expected to build 11 percent fewer vehicles in Mexico and 5 percent more in the U.S. over the same period.
That could make for difficult bargaining this fall for the Canadian union, Unifor, which has fiercely resisted the slow erosion of auto manufacturing jobs.
“They’re going to be looking for guarantees of product, and there’s not much left to guarantee,” said Art Schwartz, a labor consultant and former GM negotiator. “Oshawa is going away; it’s not coming back. That leaves a grand total of…