Economy

GM workers in Oshawa walk out in protest of plant closure

GM workers in Oshawa walk out in protest of plant closure

He says he told the company that the USA has done a lot for GM and that if its cars aren't selling, the company needs to produce ones that will.

US President Donald Trump demanded General Motors add a new product to replace a plant in OH that the company said it planned to close next year due to lagging small-car demand.

In a statement, Unifor, the union representing auto workers at the plant, said they have not heard "complete details of the overall announcement" but were told that no cars are set to be assembled at the plant past December 2019.

General Motors will cut more than 14,000 salaried staff and factory workers and close seven factories worldwide by the end of next year, part of a sweeping realignment to prepare for a future of electric and self-driving vehicles.

Too many of GM's factories are operating on a single shift to build models that have fallen out of favour, leading its plants to run about 1 million vehicles short of their full capacity, said Kristin Dziczek, vice president of industry, labor and economics for the Centre for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan. GM propulsion plants in White Marsh, Md., and Warren, Mich., are also due to close as well. "The auto industry's been a big part of the province of Ontario for over 100 years", Henry said.

GM also plans to close an assembly plant and a transmission plant in OH, along with an assembly plant in Canada.

"The first thing I said was, 'What can we do?'", Ford said Monday, recalling his phone call Sunday with the head of GM Canada. The Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly produces the Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac CT6, Chevrolet Impala, and Chevrolet Volt.

The province has also asked for EI to be extended an additional five weeks - from 45 to 50 weeks.

The cuts go all the way to the top, as GM plans to cut a quarter of its executive team in an effort to streamline operations and maintain profitability.

Its North American salaried workforce, including engineers and executives, will shrink by 15 percent, or about 8,000 jobs.

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At the factories, around 3,300 blue-collar workers could lose jobs in Canada and another 2,600 in the United States, but some USA workers could transfer to truck or SUV factories that are increasing production.

In addition to the Oshawa assembly plant, GM has an engine and transmission plant in St. Catharines, Ont. and the CAMI Assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ont.

President Donald Trump said Monday he was pressuring General Motors over its decision to close four plants in the USA because of sagging demand for sedans.

The company has said tariffs on imported steel, imposed earlier this year by the Trump administration, have cost it $1bn.

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

"Yesterday, I spoke with @GM's Mary Barra to express my deep disappointment in the closure", he added.

The Detroit-based union has already condemned GM's actions and threatened to fight them "through every legal, contractual and collective bargaining avenue open to our membership".

In October, Export Development Canada, the national export credit agency, showed there was an outstanding loan to GM Corp. for more than $1 billion.

"I've moved my family twice for this company and they do this to me", a tearful worker told CBC TV as he left the plant.

Bobbi Marsh, who has worked assembling the Chevrolet Cruze compact vehicle at the OH plant since 2008, said she can't understand why the factory might close given the strong economy.


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