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Unifor's Dias says Trudeau willing to join fight to save GM Oshawa

30 November, 2018, 03:20 | Author: Melinda Barton
  • GM Reportedly Plans to Close Its Factory in Oshawa, Canada, Leaving 2500 Jobless

"It's a kick in the nuts".

GM plans to shut down its auto assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario, in order to focus on hybrids and zero emissions vehicles, resulting in around 2,500 job cuts, according to reports that began circulating on Sunday.

In the 1980s, the plant - opened in 1953 - employed about 23,000 people.

The two MI assembly plants GM announced will close are the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant and the Warren Transmission Plant. The automaker intends to close the plant in December 2019.

Some of the closing plants could reopen in the future depending on the outcome of next year's labor negotiations with the United Auto Workers union.

GM also said it will end operations at two unnamed plants outside North America next year, in addition to a previously announced shutdown in South Korea. "We're all in limbo right now", Stojkovic told The Canadian Press.

One potential partner could be Honda Motor Co., which already has r&d relationships with GM for fuel cell and autonomous vehicles. US President, Donald Trump, imposed tariffs on imported Chinese steel that the automaker uses in its vehicles.

Under the new trade deal, 40 per cent of the content of automobiles must be produced by workers earning at least US$16 per hour to qualify for duty-free movement across the continent.

The move is a reflection of an auto sector in flux, facing a retreat in North American auto production, a shift in consumer preference from cars to crossovers, and new competition from tech firms - a new landscape that creates considerable uncertainty for Canada's auto sector.

Many workers were still trying to comprehend why on Tuesday morning. That represented more than one third of the company's 50,000 salaried workers across North America. They are meant to be proactive steps to ensure GM for the future. "There are tens of thousands of feeder jobs that originate from this plant alone", Carrie said.


The announcement blindsided employees at GM's Oshawa plant in Canada.

The changes announced Monday will not impact GM's new trucks and SUVs, which are Barra said are "doing very well".

Wildeboer said that the Oshawa closure will affect about one per cent of Martinrea's revenue, since the company is internationally diversified.

At the time of the transfer, Dias said Carlisle's appointment to head Cadillac would raise his profile and influence within GM's headquarters in Detroit, and that "would be a huge benefit for us".

The timing of the decision was surprising, but not the decision itself, said Dennis DesRosiers, president of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants. "The reality is, Canada only has eight significant auto plants left".

The closure of the Oshawa plant and the almost 3,000 jobs that will be lost have raised concerns of ripple effects through the supply chain, with Unifor estimating every job represents seven spin off jobs in the local economy.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a tweet that workers at the plant have been "part of the heart and soul of Oshawa for generations".

He said the government will stand with the people of Durham Region and is exploring measures to help the 2,500 impacted workers, along with businesses and communities, cope with the aftermath of this decision.

"If Canada isn't competitive in this environment, then it will see more of these", DesRosiers said.

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