GM to close North American plants in major overhaul

GM to close North American plants in major overhaul

General Motors has announced a massive restructuring plan, and will close up to five North American plants and lay off almost 14,000 workers- roughly 15 percent of its global workforce.

The Oshawa plant has the largest headcount among those slated to close, with 2,973 workers expected to lose their jobs.

Like other USA vehicle manufacturers, GM is shifting away from production of sedans and toward the more popular SUVs and light-duty trucks, although it did not specify that any models will be eliminated from its lineup.

"As our assembly profile shrinks, that actually undermines our capacity overall", Yates says.

GM announced Monday that it has no plans to produce vehicles in Oshawa after December 2019.

"Based on commitments made during 2016 contract negotiations, Unifor does not accept this announcement and is immediately calling on GM to live up to the spirit of that agreement", the union said in a statement on its website. "We think it's appropriate to do it at a time, and get in front of it, while the company is strong and while the economy is strong".

The automaker did not say the plants would close, but used the term "unallocated", which means no future products would be allocated to these facilities next year.

The auto giant announced Monday that after decades of profit and the production of tens of thousands of vehicles, it will be closing shop in Canada's Motor City at the end of 2019. GM will also decrease its executive staff by 25% as well.

The sudden and apparently irreversible closure of one of GM's oldest vehicle plants represents a new challenge for Prime Minister Trudeau after a year of uncertainty over the future of North American trade, continuing tariffs on steel and aluminum and new North American content rules for autos.

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The reduction in executive ranks will equally involve global employees.

GM names the Lordstown, Ohio, factory that makes the Chevrolet Cruze compact and the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, where the Chevrolet Volt, Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac CT6 are produced.

Unifor President Jerry Diaz speaks after GM announced plans to shut down operations in Oshawa.

"Oshawa has given so much to this company", the NDP MPP told CTV News Channel.

The cost of the changes will be spread out over the next two quarters.

On the upside, GM expects to see $6 billion in cost savings by 2020. "Look at what they've done to the manufacturing footprint in this country", Dias said at a rally of Unifor Local 222 members Monday.

"Even in a three-year time period, the pace of change has accelerated, so things are being introduced more quickly, introduced through some different approaches".

A federal official told HuffPost Canada the government will be working hard over the next few days to find ways to support the more than 2,500 workers and their families, who are expected to be affected in the city of roughly 170,000, east of Toronto. "The auto industry's been a big part of the province of Ontario for over 100 years", Henry said.

Ford later added: "We're disappointed in GM". And he noted that Barra is staying true to form. He said he and neighbouring Oshawa MP Colin Carrie were "reaching out for information". "Nothing will change until the summer of next year and then we will start to see some of the employment and some of the production wind down and then we will see the remainder of that end at the end of 2019".

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