General Motors’ Oshawa, Ontario assembly plant is bleeding vehicles and in danger of closing, but the city and its workers aren’t going down without a fight.
GM employees, their union, and local government representatives want a new mandate to produce vehicles beyond 2017, invoking images of Flint, Michigan in their battle with the automaker. The recent announcement of 700 new provincewide engineering jobs doesn’t cut it, they say.
To them, GM’s silence reeks of an exit strategy.
Last week’s General Motors announcement in Oshawa, Ontario felt like an olive branch being extended to the worried community, but workers and the city itself are now asking for the full meal.
The threatened Oshawa Car Assembly plant has no mandate to produce vehicles beyond 2017, and the announcement of 700 high-tech engineering jobs scattered around southern Ontario (and some in the north) didn’t do anything to calm fears of its impending closure. (Read More…)
Volkswagen brand chief Herbert Diess has a target on his back, now that the union representing the automaker’s workers has made its distrust of the company public.
Labor union IG Metall slammed the company’s management in a letter published on its website, stating the company was using the diesel emissions scandal as a way of cutting staff, according to Bloomberg.
The union said it wants assurances from Volkswagen brass that layoffs aren’t coming down the pipe, and implied that Diess’ job is in danger if he doesn’t agree to protect employee positions.
The Sterling Heights, Michigan facility that manufactures the Chrysler 200 will have its output halved this summer, with about 1,420 workers laid off indefinitely as a result, reports the Detroit News.
Both production lines of the midsize sedan were idled for nine weeks earlier this year to compensate for an inventory glut and low demand. Now, only one line will stay open, employing about 1,900 workers.
Like ripples in a pool of sulphur-rich oil, the impact from Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal keeps spreading.
In a cost-cutting measure designed to mitigate the growing financial damage caused by the scandal, Volkswagen is planning to cut 3,000 administration jobs in Germany, according to Reuters.
General Motors in Canada said Monday that it would provide assistance to Syrian refugees in that country through job training and money, the automaker announced.
“We are witnessing an outpouring of community support across Canada which recognizes the importance of a coordinated and thoughtful approach to refugee resettlement,” Steve Carlisle, president of General Motors of Canada, said in a statement.
The program will help connect refugees to local dealers looking for potential technicians or candidates for jobs. Would-be candidates will be trained in nearby community colleges through GM’s Automotive Service Educational Program.
While we were hanging outside the Staples Center begging passersby for photos, information and leftover shrimp from the Los Angeles Auto Show to share with you all (well, maybe not the shrimp), there was still news happening that we didn’t get the chance to cover.
So, here it is in condensed form.
(Maybe not like that.)
Automotive News reported Saturday that several automakers are struggling to attract younger workers as young adults seem more disinterested with pursuing careers in manufacturing.
Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia Senior Vice President Randy Jackson said it’s important for the auto industry to soften the blow of reality when adulthood sets in:
“So many kids want to grow up and play in the NFL,” he says. “And college is a great thing, and it’s good to have a dream job out there. But if we can reach young people before they spend four years in college pursuing something that isn’t realistic, we might be able to open their eyes to something they will find very rewarding.”
In its 104-page annual sustainability report, Honda announced it would make English its official language by 2020, requiring all interregional communication be conducted in English. Similarly, English-language proficiency would be a requirement for promotion to management. The new mandate appears on Page 70 of the report.
Despite burying the lede, it’s a seismic change for the Japanese company. According to Automotive News, five years ago then-boss Takanobu Ito said — possibly in Japanese — that making English the official language of Honda was “stupid.” Five years from now, presumably all of Honda’s workforce, which includes more than 200,000 people — nearly three-quarters of it outside of North America — will be speaking the language.
As trucks ride a heat wave of interest from consumers, I look at this Grand Cherokee render and think, “That’ll do.”