December 10, 2018

Local reaction to announcement of Oshawa GM plant closure

29 November 2018, 12:00 | Austin Hogan

Getty Images

Getty Images

"Unifor does not accept the closure of the plant as a foregone conclusion", said Dias.

The closure of the Oshawa plant and the almost 3,000 jobs that will be lost have raised concerns of ripple effects through the supply chain, with Unifor estimating every job represents seven spin off jobs in the local economy.

He said the move was part of a wider need to stay nimble and adapt, especially after the 2008 recession.

"We are announcing the cessation of certain products resulting in a number of plants being without allocated volume to produce", GM spokesperson Julie Huston-Rough told NPR.

Calling it a sad day for Durham, Premier Doug Ford said he will do "everything possible" to support the GM workers.

"The PC government is also asking the federal government to work with their US counterparts to remove all tariffs so that impacted auto parts suppliers can remain competitive after the Oshawa Assembly Plant closes its doors". We really did. We've invested so much.

"I felt like someone kicked me in the stomach", said David Green, a local union president.

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It's part of a major restructuring that will prioritize the company's electric and autonomous vehicle programs. "We're growing faster than anybody in the industry in new technology, at the same time as we're unfortunately going through, next year, this really hard change with regard to our manufacturing base in Canada".

Workers at the Oshawa plant walked off the job Monday after they were given the information about their plant's closure. They'll be a lot of questions. The company will halt operations at transmission plants in the Baltimore area and in Warren, Michigan.

At the time of the transfer, Dias said Carlisle's appointment to head Cadillac would raise his profile and influence within GM's headquarters in Detroit, and that "would be a huge benefit for us".

He said he and neighbouring Oshawa MP Colin Carrie were "reaching out for information". But I think what is really positive is that the workers are back at the plant today and they are doing what Canadians do. Ohio Gov. John Kasich called it "painful to see this happen to the plant's workers", noting the plant had been working with GM for more than 50 years.

About 5,600 jobs will be at least temporarily eliminated at the three assembly plants, and other facilities, including motor plants and outside suppliers, will be affected.

The Oshawa operation became a Donald Trump talking point during Canada-U.S. trade negotiations, according to a Toronto Star report about an off-the-record aside during an interview with Bloomberg News over the summer.

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