Unifor Awaits GM's Response to Jobs-saving Proposal
Eight months ahead of the planned shutdown of Canada’s oldest auto plant, union officials are on pins and needles, hoping General Motors prove receptive to its plan to save some of the 2,600 jobs at Oshawa Assembly.
Unifor, the union representing Detroit Three autoworkers north of the border, has submitted a proposal to GM in the hopes of making the best of a bad situation. It’s waiting to hear back, with word expected to arrive next week.
According to Automotive News Canada, Unifor officials, including its president, Jerry Dias, met with GM Canada President Travis Hester and Gerald Johnson, GM’s executive vice- president of global manufacturing, on March 19th. It was at that point that UNifor agreed to hold off on pressure tactics. Earlier, the union staged labor action at the Ontario plant and launched a boycott of Mexican-made GM vehicles.
Oshawa Assembly houses production of previous-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, as well as the Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impala. Under GM’s restructuring plan, product will dry up in December of this year.
Unifor Local 222 President Colin James told the publication that the automaker is doing “some sort of assessment” on the union’s proposal. James claims his associated should know GM’s decision by next week.
What does the proposal contain? James wasn’t telling, though when asked whether Oshawa’s stamping operation — which supplies GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant (due to go lights-out in January 2020) — he said there’s “some work that would make sense just because we have the guys there and the stamping facility.”
Saving the assembly plant seems a lost cause, as GM has given no indication it’s willing to reconsider. But car production isn’t the only GM operation in the area.
James said Unifor was “trying to look outside of that, if there’s anything available.”
“What we’re doing is trying to look outside the box and look at any jobs that we can save in the facility or add to,” he said. “So, of course, that doesn’t save all of our members, but any job saved is one less person hitting the streets.”
[Image: General Motors]
James Charles on Apr 05, 2019
I feel sorry for the workers, but like all industries since humans walked the planet nothing is secure. I really think the biggest consideration is costs vs benefits. If better value can be realised for Canada the plant should close. How many dollars have been pumped into the plant over the past couple of decades? That is taxpayer dollars. All those dollars could of been better invested for future Canadian growth. The cost of propping each job might just make it unattractive.
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