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Workers protest as Unifor continues fight to #SaveOshawaGM

January 15, 2019 - 12:00 AM

January 15, 2019

DETROIT- As auto parts supply workers staged a walk-out to protest General Motors’ (GM) plan to close the Oshawa Assembly Plant, Unifor warned GM that action will continue in the fight to stop the closure.

“GM just hopes we will be quiet and go away, the chances of that are zero,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “We will get General Motors’ attention today, tomorrow and the next day.”

At 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 14, approximately 100 parts workers at Inteva Products in Whitby, Ontario walked off the job in protest. The Whitby plant supplies components to two GM assembly plants – Oshawa and Detroit-Hamtramck. Both plants were targeted for closure as part of GM’s November 26 restructuring announcement.

“The protest staged by members at Inteva Products today shows that the workers affected by a closure are willing to fight, and we expect our governments to do the same,” said Dias. “The effects of a closure would be devastating to our communities and economy. It is up to the Premier and Prime Minister to apply maximum pressure to General Motors to develop a new plan that will save the 24,000 jobs threatened by GM’s plan.”

On Monday, January 14, Dias met with Premier Ford of Ontario and Navjeet Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. While both representatives committed to making efforts to save the assembly plant, the union believes that these actions must include increased, united pressure on General Motors to prevent widespread job loss.

“Parts workers, like those who expressed their anger today, will be among the first to be impacted by GM’s surrender to corporate greed,” continued Dias. “They are doing everything in their power to stop the closure, and they expect the same level of effort from their elected politicians.”

Despite earning more than $6 billion U.S. in the first three quarters of 2018, General Motors announced plans to end production at the Oshawa Assembly Plant after 2019. The loss of 2,900 direct jobs at GM and thousands more in auto parts and services is not acceptable to Unifor or to Canadian consumers. Thousands have signed an online petition demanding GM allocate product to Oshawa. For more information go to the campaign website 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 further information: contact Sarah McCue, Unifor National Communications Representative at 416-458-3307 (cell) or sarah.mccue@unifor.org.