By on May 7, 2020

Image: GM

With General Motors aiming for a May 18th restart of North American vehicle production, powertrain components, in some cases, need a head start. That’s why May 11th will be the first day back to work for many employees of GM’s St. Catharines Propulsion Plant, home to much-used V6 and V8 engines, as well as a transmission.

The gradual return to work ahead of GM’s restart date comes after the Canadian labor leader Jerry Dias expressed concern over workplace safety.

“Starting May 11th a portion of our HFV6 line will resume in St. Catharines and the balance of St. Catharines operations, CAMI and Oshawa Stamped Parts Operations will come back gradually in the weeks that follow,” GM Canada spokesperson Jennifer Wright told The Canadian Press (via Canadian Manufacturing).

The bulk of St. Catharines’ V6 output is the 3.6-liter variant found in GM’s midsize pickups and large crossovers. The Ontario plant also builds 5.3- and 6.2-liter V8s, as well as a six-speed automatic found in the Chevrolet Sonic and Equinox.

Wright added that “extensive safety measures” will be in place at each Canadian GM plant upon opening, mirroring efforts made in the United States. Those efforts have the tepid approval of the United Auto Workers, which didn’t step in and protest the decision by GM and Fiat Chrysler to reopen U.S. plants as soon as Michigan dropped its guard. The state’s stay-at-home order runs out on May 15th.

Speaking of FCA’s production intentions earlier this week, Unifor President Jerry Dias said he wasn’t sure how to feel about various plants’ preparedness (read: distancing measures and personal protective equipment) until he speaks with the heads of union locals.

[Image: General Motors]

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