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Workers protest GM’s failure to save Oshawa Assembly Plant

January 8, 2019 - 12:00 AM

January 08, 2018

OSHAWA – Unifor members at the General Motors Oshawa Assembly Plant are staging a sit down protest to express their outrage following today’s meeting with General Motors (GM) on the future of the plant.

“General Motors acknowledged that it could save the Oshawa Assembly Plant but simply chooses not to, despite the fact that it wouldn’t hurt the company’s bottom line to keep the plant operational until the end of the current contact in 2020,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

The meeting with GM was in response to proposals put forth by the union to keep Oshawa viable.

“The fact is there’s sufficient demand for the Oshawa made vehicles to keep the plant operational until 2020, and beyond that there are several strong selling models that could be manufactured there,” said Dias.

As GM’s most flexible plant, the Oshawa line is its only plant capable of building pickups, SUVs and cars. In its proposal to General Motors the union pointed out that the automaker currently imports more than 150,000 vehicles from overseas and with the pending implementation of the new CUSMA trade agreement it makes sense to return that production to Oshawa and other Canadian GM facilities.

Since GM has committed to a future focused on electric vehicles (EV) the union also proposed allocation of a future EV platform to Oshawa, one of the company's highest quality and most productive plants.

“These are not hard times for General Motors,” said Dias. “With 3.2 million vehicles being built in North America this year there is plenty of room for Canadian production.”

The union also expressed disappointment in the silence and lack of action by both the federal and provincial governments. Unifor will continue the #SaveOshawaGM campaign with a major rally in Windsor, across from GM headquarters, on Friday January 11 with hundreds of workers from across the province.

For more information visit SaveOshawaGM.ca.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).