GM workers hold work stoppage at assembly plant

11 January, 2019, 14:30 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • General Motors Oshawa plant workers stage another sit-down strike

Hundreds of workers walked off the job at the Oshawa plant in protest on the day GM announced its plans.

"Workers on the morning shift at Oshawa Assembly Plant staged a sit down to protest General Motors callous choice to close down the plant after 100 years of operation, despite the fact that the company acknowledges it could maintain the plant without injury to its current bottom line", Unifor spokesperson Kathleen O'Keefe said in an email.

Dias said the meeting further confirmed for him how GM's executives based the plant closure decisions exclusively on "corporate greed" by moving production to Mexico where he said the company's employee wages are roughly $2 per hour.

Those would include 4,400 jobs at GM Oshawa and its parts suppliers in Ontario that would be lost in 2020 as well as lost direct and indirect opportunities from keeping the assembly plant open for an additional five years.

"I'm furious right now", Dias added.

"It may not be profitable, but it certainly wouldn't cause them any sort of deep economic harm", said Dias.

GM said in a letter to Dias that it had already considered several proposals including those the union raised at the meeting.

Speaking in Windsor, Ont. on Tuesday afternoon, Dias said he was "deeply disappointed" by GM's decision to close the Oshawa facility, calling it an example of "corporate greed".


GM also has not allocated new products for four US plants, raising the possibility of their closure and the elimination of a total of about 15,000 jobs in North America.

"The reality is General Motors will only understand if Canadians push them in the decisions they are making", Dias said. "And yet Oshawa has grown and people live there and they all have jobs". The question is do they have the political will to do so.

Much of the Canadian economy is growing at capacity and struggling to find workers, Poloz said, despite the high-profile struggles of sectors like automotive manufacturing.

"Workers are no wreturning to the line with production expected to resume shortly", read a second release. Going into the Tuesday meeting, he has voiced optimism a solution could be found.

"In our history, Chrysler has never approached what GM keeps doing to us time and time again", he said.

Unifor president Jerry Dias will update the media at the union hall in Windsor after a meeting with GM in Detroit on the future of the Oshawa assembly plant.

Unifor has refused to consider negotiations on a shutdown of Oshawa.

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