By on June 16, 2008

oshawa_generals_2001.jpgThe Canadian Autoworkers Union (CAW) ended its two-week blockade of GM's Oshawa truck factory this morning, in compliance with a court injunction. The Detroit Free Press reports that the CAW is ditching the barricades for "other actions." CAW Chairman Keith Osborne tells the Freep that union lawyers will meet today to discuss the possibility of filing a complaint with the Ontario Labor Relations Board. But while the CAW lawyers talk offense, GM spokesfolks are trying to leave the unpleasantness behind: "Now is the time to focus on discussions on new product mandates for Oshawa and support for affected employees." And apparently GM's backing its words with… more words. Bloomberg reports that "GM is in preliminary talks to add a third vehicle at an Oshawa car plant," in addition to the "second car" promised to CAW in their month-old labor agreement. The Toronto Sun says that the Camaro and the unnamed rear wheel-drive "second car" planned for 2011 could be joined by a front wheel-drive model, thanks to the Camaro's flexible production line. Ontario may not be the cheapest or most efficient place to build vehicles, but its tax-dollar giveaways are world class. Expect public money for the third vehicle line to smooth things over between GM and the CAW. It's win-win– as long as you're not a Canadian taxpayer.

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13 Comments on “Oshawa Blockade Ends...”

  • avatar

    I’ve been meaning to ask this since the beginning of the blockade. How is “Oshawa” pronounced?

    Is it “OH shawa” (like “Obama”)
    is it “oh SHA-wa”
    or is it “oh-shewa”, or “oshWA”
    or is it “Aww shawa”
    Or is it something else?

    Thanks to whomever might know.

  • avatar


    I think “Obama” is pronounced oh-BAH-ma

    but i guess i don’t know for sure because i only read it and don’t watch the news anymore

  • avatar

    It’s “osh-wa”. At least from my travels in the GTA, that’s what I heard.

  • avatar

    It’s pronounced Osh ‘AH’ wa…,_Ontario

  • avatar

    Ronin317: It’s “osh-wa”.

    Actually, there are three syllables. The first ‘a’ is briefly voiced: “aww-sha-wa”.

    CBC News “The World at Six” will probably carry this tonight, along with the pronunciation. Their podcasts are at:

  • avatar

    Putting all this ugliness behind us “Oshawa is the most expensive location to manufacture pickups in North America…” we can now focus on the future “Oshawa is the most expensive location to manufacture cars in North America…”

    The Camero is projected to be a relatively high margin car – so they can just live with the higher then average production costs. But what happens in 2 years when initial demand is fulfilled and GM has to start discounting? And that’s not even factoring in the effect of gas prices – good or bad.

    There is a systemic problem by being high cost/medium productive – even with good products, the business model is always under duress.

  • avatar

    I stand corrected! Sorry…

  • avatar

    People generally avoid the place like the plague and just refer to it as the “shwa”.

  • avatar
    Jeff in Canada

    Blast! I am a Canadian Taxpayer!

  • avatar


    Beat me to the punch…

  • avatar

    Easy dew we are kind’a sensitive here in the Shwa

  • avatar

    I understand that the judge who granted the injunction to GM also had some uncomplimentary words to say about GM. Words like ‘not having clean hands’ and ‘deceitful’. Sounds just like them all right.

  • avatar

    The uncompromisung union attitude and belligerent nature will likely result in a huge investment in the truck plant. If GM doesn’t do it it is likely Toyota or Honda will move production to Oshawa to take advantage of this pugnacious workforce. this demonstration is sure to lead to huge investment in Oshawa.

    What is the CAW thinking?

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