DETROIT: General Motors reached a tentative agreement with negotiators representing Canadian auto workers late Monday, narrowly averting a midnight strike deadline. The settlement followed a lengthy bargaining session in which several issues were finally resolved, said Jerry Dias, the president of Unifor, the union representing more than 3,900 GM workers in Ontario. GM has promised new investment at the company’s assembly plant in Oshawa and at an engine and transmission plant in St. Catherine — both facilities in Ontario — as part of the deal. Unifor is Canada’s largest private sector union, representing more than 310,000 workers, including 23,050 at the Detroit Three. It was formed three years ago by a merger of the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union. Dias said the union’s negotiators succeeded in meeting their top objective of pushing GM into making new investment in Canada. “It provides job security for members who haven’t had job security in more than 10 years,” he said. The new investment promised by GM in the provisional agreement also reverses the flow of automotive investments across North America, which have gone to Mexico over the past decade. In fact, as part of the agreement, GM will actually shift engine production from Mexico to the plant in the city of St. Catherines, Dias said. Dias said the key to the settlement was the commitment by GM to bring a new product into the Oshawa assembly plant outside Toronto. “Oshawa will get a new platform that will be able to used for a truck or a car,” said Dias, who said he would provide more details when he presented the complete contract to Unifor members later in the week. “GM has agreed to hundreds of millions of dollars in Oshawa,” Dias said. The tentative contract also includes a pay increase and signing bonus, Dias said. The agreement will enable significant new investment in products and technology at GM’s Oshawa, St. Catharines and Woodstock facilities, the labor leader said. “The agreement is subject to member ratification. We will be working with (the) government on potential support, and will provide further details on the investment at the appropriate time, while respecting Unifor’s ratification process.” The union did make one major concession. Going forward, new employees will be eligible for a defined contribution-style pension plan rather than a more lucrative defined-benefit-style pension plan that union members with seniority are now eligible. Capping pension costs was one of GM’s major objectives. In return, GM agreed to make 700 temporary workers full-time employees, which Dias described as a major win for the union because it will bolster the union’s organizing efforts at the assembly plants that Honda and Toyota now operate in Ontario.