GM rejects Unifor proposals to keep Oshawa assembly plant open past 2019

Roman Schwartz
January 11, 2019

Unifor, the union that represents workers at the plant, has vowed to block its closure.

The union confirmed Wednesday's work stoppage following an earlier protest Tuesday.

"They're moving ahead with their plan".

The options suggested by the union, including extending the life of the Chevy Impala and Cadillac XTS now produced at the plant or shifting production slated for Mexico to the plant, are not economic, said David Paterson, vice president of corporate affairs at GM Canada. "The reality is that GM can reverse its decision".

"Having completed an analysis of Unifor's proposals, GM has determined that it can not pursue them because they would not combat the declining economic and market factors that must be addressed", the automaker said in the letter from GM Canada president Travis Hester.

As for whether protests would continue, Diaz said, "We're just playing it by ear". "We are not going anywhere". "It's not more complicated than that".

"There have been strategic decisions to move products from Canada to Mexico", Dias said.

Unifor National President Jerry Dias says the decision to close the plant is about “corporate greed”
Unifor National President Jerry Dias says the decision to close the plant is about “corporate greed”

"We studied all of the different proposals in detail, some of which we studied in detail before, and they all added substantial incremental cost and they would not address the economic situation that we have with the shift in the marketplace".

General Motors has rejected several proposals made by Unifor to keep the Oshawa Assembly Plant open past the end of the year.

Dias said the union is still not be accepting the closure of our Oshawa facilities.

Unifor's national auto director Dino Chiodo, former president of Local 444 in Windsor, also expressed his frustration with GM executives following Tuesday's meeting.

He said the union should instead work with the company on timing and transition plans for the close to 3,000 jobs impacted. GM says it has identified job opportunities and is willing to pay for retraining. "GM today has not only picked a fight with Unifor, but picked a fight with all of Canada". Unifor said the deal stipulates there will be no plant closures before September 21, 2020.

"Being from Oshawa, I regret that very much", Poloz said at press conference in Ottawa after holding interest rates steady for a second straight time.

GM officials have said the fate of the USA plants is subject to talks with the United Auto Workers union, which represents the US workers at those plants. The U.S. auto giant announced in November that it intends to cease production at its iconic plant east of Toronto at the end of this year. "This is not only about jobs in Oshawa, but Canadians as a nation".

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