Workers at GM’s Canada plant hold work stoppage over closure

Workers at GM’s Canada plant hold work stoppage over closure

Unionized workers at the General Motors assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario, are holding another sit-down protest over the planned closure of the facility that would lead to the loss of 3,000 jobs.

In expressing his disappointment in GM's decision, Dias said he was disgusted with what he characterized as the silence of the provincial and national governments in Canada.

GM reviewed the proposals and met with Unifor President Jerry Dias on Tuesday where they told him they weren't going to change their mind and extend operations in Oshawa.

"They talked about the inevitable closures in the United States and now they're saying we'll deal with it with the UAW in collective bargaining", said Dias.

"I'm deeply disappointed at the response of the corporation", Dias told a news conference in Windsor shortly after emerging from the meeting.

When asked whether he foresees any threat by executives of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles pulling a similar move with the Windsor Assembly Plant - which employs 6,000 workers locally - Chiodo said there are "no major concerns" pointing to a significant difference historically in the union's dealings with the two automakers. He added how the Canadian governments and taxpayers also provided $11 billion in subsidies to GM at a time when it faced near bankruptcy a decade ago.

One of Oshawa's most prominent sons is bullish on the small Canadian city's chances of surviving the shutdown of its General Motors Co. plant.

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But the company's current stance won't stop Unifor and its leaders from continuing to fight, Dias said. GM says it has identified job opportunities and is willing to pay for retraining.

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

The union has said the decision is contrary to commitments made by GM in contract negotiations with Unifor in 2016.

A variety of armoured reconnaissance vehicles, gun tractors and softskin trucks lined up at the GM Oshawa plant in October 1942. GM will "unallocate" production at the Oshawa factory and four others, meaning production will halt by the end of this year unless new vehicle programs are assigned to those plans.

Workers on the evening shift Tuesday night also stopped working, causing the assembly line to stop.

GM says they are ready to discuss support and transition packages for workers. GM Chief Executive Mary Barra promised in early December to keep an "open mind" about another affected plant, Ohio's Lordstown Assembly.

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