GM workers stage another sit-in at Oshawa plant

Union head to discuss fate of GM Oshawa plant - 680 NEWS

Union blames ‘corporate greed’ after GM rejects proposals that would keep Oshawa assembly plant open past 2019

Unifor national president Jerry Dias and representatives from General Motors are scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss the automaker's decision to shut down its Oshawa assembly plant.

"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 company said in a letter from GM Canada president Travis Hester and labour relations vice president Gerald Johnson.

The action came after Unifor, the union representing the autoworkers, failed to win GM's support for its proposals to save the plant.

The union says buses are being organized from cities across Ontario to bring thousands of auto workers to protest the decision with GM's headquarters as the backdrop.

"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.

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

"I am deeply disappointed by the response from the corporation", said Dias at a press conference in Windsor, Ont.

Unifor's lobbying efforts include a TV commercial condemning GM's decision to end production at the Oshawa plant. 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.

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In the meantime, those aboard the Sea Watch and Sea Eye - who include a baby and several children - were celebrating the end of 19 days at sea.


The General Motors vehicle assembly plant in Oshawa, Ont., photographed on November 26, 2018.

Furthermore, General Motors says it has identified up to 5,000 job opportunities for impacted workers at more than 20 businesses in the Durham Region and the GTA.

Since GM's announcement, Unifor has launched an extensive public relations campaign, demanding GM save the Oshawa plant.

Colin James, president of Unifor Local 222 in Oshawa, speaks to the media with Unifor national leader Jerry Dias on Tuesday at the Unifor Local 444/200 hall following their meeting with General Motors executives in Detroit.

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

With the GM world headquarters towers looming in the Detroit background, a billboard message from Unifor on Wyandotte Street East in Windsor, shown January 8, 2019, has a message about the automaker's Oshawa Assembly Plant.

While the study does concede that there could be a slight uptick in employment across Canada at first as laid off workers move to other parts of the country it estimates that 10,000 jobs will eventually be lost outside Ontario due to a weaker economy.

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