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GM workers stage another sit-in at Oshawa plant

GM workers stage another sit-in at Oshawa plant

The head of Canada's auto union blasted General Motors for pushing ahead with plans to phase out work at its Oshawa, Ontario, assembly plant despite calls by workers and politicians in Canada to find a new vehicle to build there.

"We're going to continue to have discussions with them about solutions", Jerry Dias, national president of Unifor, the union that represents workers at the plant, said after meeting with GM officials at the No. 1 USA automaker's Detroit headquarters.

An angry Dias spoke to media in Windsor after Tuesday's meeting.

"Workers on the morning shift at Oshawa Assembly Plant staged a sit down to protest General Motors callous choice to close down the plant after 100 years of operation, despite the fact that the company acknowledges it could maintain the plant without injury to its current bottom line", Unifor spokesperson Kathleen O'Keefe said in an email. Dias says GM is "greedy" by moving more jobs to Mexico where workers are paid as little as $2 an hour.

There has been no word on if the sit-in will evolve into a complete walk-out.




GM also has not allocated new products for four USA plants, raising the possibility of their closure and the elimination of a total of about 15,000 jobs in North America. The workers are reacting to their National Unifor Union President Jerry Dias attempting to get GM executives to reconsider their plan to shut down that plant by the end of this year.

The closure of Oshawa's GM plant will immediately result in the loss of a combined 4,400 jobs on the assembly line and at parts manufacturers across Ontario and the job loss will only grow over time, a union-commissioned study has found.

GM said in a letter to Dias that it had already considered several proposals including those the union raised at the meeting. "GM today has not only picked a fight with Unifor, but picked a fight with all of Canada".

Dias said the union is still not be accepting the closure of our Oshawa facilities. The U.S. auto giant announced in November that it intends to cease production at its iconic plant east of Toronto at the end of this year. "And yet Oshawa has grown and people live there and they all have jobs".

With the GM world headquarters towers looming in the Detroit background, a billboard message from Unifor on Wyandotte Street East in Windsor, shown January 8, 2019, has a message about the automaker's Oshawa Assembly Plant. A large rally is planned in Windsor on Friday. One of the plants is the Detroit Hamtramck Poletown plant set to close in July.


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