Closing GM’s Oshawa plant puts 15K Canadian auto parts jobs at risk

Posted November 30, 2018

One of Oshawa's MPs, Jennifer French called the report "gravely concerning" and urged the provincial government to fight to save the over 100-year-old plant.

Reports confirmed by the Sun say US auto giant General Motors will shutter the company's Oshawa, Ont. vehicle assembly plant, putting thousands of employees out of work.

"We believe in an all-electric future", Ms. Barra said.

GM has said the closures announced Monday - auto plants in Michigan, Ohio and Maryland are also poised to close - are necessary because of shifts in consumer buying patterns. Production began on November 7, 1953, and in the 1980s the plant employed roughly 23,000 people.

"It's only a matter of time, so we need to stop it today", Jerry Dias, Unifor's national president, said in a press conference Tuesday after meeting with Trudeau and a number of federal ministers in Ottawa.

Patterson said that the Oshawa plant has the capacity to run six shifts day but for the last several years had only been running three shifts.

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"Cause you see we're sick and exhausted of General motors shipping all of our jobs to Mexico".

In addition to the Oshawa assembly plant, GM has an engine and transmission plant in St. Catharines, Ont. and the CAMI Assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ont.

Unifor, the union representing more than 2,500 workers at the plant, says it has been told that there is no product allocated to the Oshawa plant past December 2019.

"You will see us have new employees joining the company as others leave the company", Barra said.

OH politicians have also responded to the announcement.Arno Hill, the mayor of Lordstown, told NPR that he received a call from GM to inform him of the decision about five minutes before the news was released to the public. GM said it is investigating the possibility of retooling the assembly plants to make other vehicles.

GM added that it expects to save some $6 billion by the end of 2020.

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Trudeau tweeted on Monday that he "spoke with GM's Chief Executive Mary Barra to express his deep disappointment in the closure".

In an emailed statement to CTV Toronto, GM spokesperson David Paterson said the company "won't be commenting. on speculation".

In 2016, the Oshawa plant was spared closure after GM said it would invest $400-million to upgrade an assembly line.

The US$6 billion in savings includes cost reductions of US$4.5 billion and lower capital expenditure annually of nearly US$1.5 billion. "With its rich automotive history, demonstrated technological innovation and investments, as well as a highly skilled and trained workforce, Oshawa is the ideal location and well-positioned to drive GM's new focus on electric and autonomous vehicle programs".

GM has also been caught in the trade war between the United States and China.

One potential partner could be Honda Motor Co., which already has r&d relationships with GM for fuel cell and autonomous vehicles. "There are tens of thousands of feeder jobs that originate from this plant alone", Carrie said.

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Oshawa, he said, has one of the largest community health-care networks in Canada and is home to post-secondary education facilities as well as advanced manufacturing. "So we're growing faster than anyone in the industry in new technology, at the same time as we're unfortunately going through next year this really hard change with regard to our manufacturing base in Canada".