Friday, 22 March, 2019


GM rejects Unifor proposals to keep Oshawa plant open past 2019

GM rejects Unifor proposals to keep Oshawa plant open past 2019 GM rejects Unifor proposals to keep Oshawa plant open past 2019
Conrad Doyle | 11 January, 2019, 14:32

"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.

A top union president representing auto workers with General Motors Canada will hold a news conference Tuesday afternoon about the fate of the assembly plant in Oshawa.

Dias said the US$22-million annual salary of company CEO Mary Barra is greater than the entire payroll of one assembly plant in Mexico.

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

Tuesday night, workers staged a sit-down protest to express their "outrage", according to a release from their union, Unifor.

"I'm furious right now", Dias added.

The meeting came after GM's "accelerated transformation" announcement on November 26, 2018, which would see the Oshawa plant close in 2019.

An angry Dias spoke to media in Windsor after Tuesday's meeting. "This is not only about jobs in Oshawa, but Canadians as a nation".

"We know these decisions are challenging for all of us, but GM remains committed to working jointly with Unifor to facilitate and support the transition of the Oshawa Assembly workforce", the company said. "That's the only acceptable solution as we stand here today".

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

GM has, for its part, has said that the closure of the plant is necessary as it shifts its focus to electric and autonomous vehicles.

"The reality is General Motors is going to have to find a solution to keep our Oshawa Plant going".

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.

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. One of the plants is the Detroit Hamtramck Poletown plant set to close in July.

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