GM workers have uncertain road ahead after plant closures, layoffs announced

Andrew Cummings
November 29, 2018

"We will fight for Unifor Local 222 members to keep these good paying jobs at [the] Oshawa assembly plant", Mr. Dias said.

"We planned for it, we kind of said, this is where GM is heading, we're not going to supply to manufacturers that supply GM". The company said the moves are part of an effort to cut 15 percent of its workforce.

GM announced that the Oshawa Assembly Plant will be "unallocated in 2019", meaning the plant will be closing with no product to make.

Mike Prencipe, part-owner and director of Mississauga-based packager TEC Business Solutions, said the company started shifting business away from exposure to the Oshawa plant as GM kept cutting back production.

Jennifer French, MPP for Oshawa, said she found the report of the plant closure "gravely concerning".

"They told me straight up there's nothing we can do", Ontario Premier Doug Ford told lawmakers, according to the CBC. "I have certainly expressed my willingness to be a part of looking for a solution that takes those smart people and the assets that we have and tries to find a way in which they can contribute".

We've known for some time that North American consumers just aren't buying sedans much anymore, especially not North American ones. Component and propulsion plants to close in 2019 include the Baltimore Operations in White Marsh, Maryland and the Warren Transmission Operations in Warren, Michigan.

"This country has done a lot for General Motors".

"Unifor does not accept the closure of the plant as a foregone conclusion", said Dias.

"I felt like someone kicked me in the stomach", said David Green, a local union president.

"It is disappointing that GM failed to see and build upon this competitive advantage", said Ford in a statement on Monday.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Magna Auto Systems says it's too early to tell what kind of impact the GM closures will have on auto parts makers here.

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.

Barra explained that GM is restructuring now, "while the company and the economy are strong, to stay in front of a fast-changing market". "They are showing that we can do this better than anybody in the world and we will perform here and show people that we can do this well".

About 5,600 jobs will be at least temporarily eliminated at the three assembly plants, and other facilities, including motor plants and outside suppliers, will be affected.

Unifor is threatening wide-spread action in Canada and the US if GM doesn't back down from this plan.

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