Published: Fri, November 30, 2018
Markets | By Erika Turner

'Sad day for Oshawa': Politicians react to GM closure

'Sad day for Oshawa': Politicians react to GM closure

"These are real stakes in front of the bargaining team next year for the negotiations", she said.

In a statement, the United States union said, "General Motors decision today to stop production at the Lordstown, Ohio, and Hamtramck, Michigan, assembly plants will idle thousands of workers, and will not go unchallenged by the UAW".

"We started this transformation in 2015", Barra said.

"We have some of our most competitive parts plants in the world in Ontario.we have a very good workforce, we have very good equipment, and the latest in manufacturing".

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. The carmaker will also shut down a factory in the Canadian town of Oshawa, Ontario.

Unifor President Jerry Dias accused GM of a bitter betrayal and vowed his membership was not going down without a fight.

He says it's still hard to say exactly how much impact the closures will have on the rest of the supply chain, including at auto parts plants in the Quinte Region.

The Oshawa Assembly Plant employs 2,522 workers with Unifor Local 222, according to GM's website.

Shell-shocked GM workers streamed into the rain and chill wind after their union sent them home on Monday amid word that their plant would be closing by the end of 2019, dealing a blow to a city and region once synonymous with the automaker. "I am not saying that Canada will become Australia and eventually lose all its vehicle assembly operations but there is more to come, I just don't know which plants and when they will disappear".

The salaried work force restructuring includes cutting 15 percent of its 54,000 salaried employees in North America - more than 8,000 including cutting global executives by 25 percent. GM said it is investigating the possibility of retooling the assembly plants to make other vehicles.

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She added that the largest U.S. automaker is "taking these actions now while the company and economy are strong, to stay ahead of fast-changing industry and market conditions".

President Donald Trump said he was "not happy" with the decision and spoke "very tough" with GM CEO Mary Barra about the moves.

"If GM Canada is indeed turning its back on 100 years of industry and community - abandoning workers and families in Oshawa - then this is a callous decision that must be fought", she said in a statement on Sunday, adding that she hopes the province joins her in the fight.

On the upside, GM expects to see $6 billion in cost savings by 2020.

Oshawa houses GM Canada's headquarters and the city has a storied automotive history.

He said that GM just "can't have plants that are not operating at full capacity", making the closure of the facility necessary.

One potential partner could be Honda Motor Co., which already has r&d relationships with GM for fuel cell and autonomous vehicles.

Oshawa's GM plant has been in operation since 1953 and at one point employed about 40,000 workers. "We supported GM years ago when they were in trouble".

Scheer said that his party will call for an emergency debate in the House of Commons "to press the Liberal government for a plan on how they will respond to the thousands of people out of work and how they will protect remaining manufacturing jobs in Ontario", he said in a statement.

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