Workers at GM’s Canada plant hold work stoppage over closure


However, In a statement signed by GM Canada president Travis Hester and General Motors VP of manufacturing and labour relations Gerald Johnson, the company said the proposals brought to them by Unifor would result in increased costs and would harm the company's competitive position.

'Deeply disappointed.' Unifor national president Jerry Dias speaks to the media at the Unifor Local 444/200 Hall in Windsor on January 8, 2019, following a meeting with General Motors executives in Detroit to discuss the future of GM's Oshawa Assembly Plant.

Tuesday night, workers staged a sit-down protest to express their "outrage", according to a release from their union, Unifor.

Dias said the US$22-million annual salary of company CEO Mary Barra is greater than the entire payroll of one assembly plant in Mexico.

The meeting came after GM's "accelerated transformation" announcement on November 26, 2018, which would see the Oshawa plant close in 2019.

"I am deeply disappointed by the response from the corporation", said Dias at a press conference in Windsor, Ont.

"What is equally disappointing is there was a clear acknowledgement that a solution could be found", Dias said, adding that GM recognized that it could continue operating its Oshawa facility without hurting the company's bottom line.

"The reality is General Motors will only understand if Canadians push them in the decisions they are making", Dias said.

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"Though there was an understanding of the importance of the (Canadian) market and the incredible contribution of our members in Oshawa, they weren't reaching for the solution which is at hand".

But the company's current stance won't stop Unifor and its leaders from continuing to fight, Dias said.

Furthermore, General Motors says it has identified up to 5,000 job opportunities for impacted workers at more than 20 businesses in the Durham Region and the GTA.

A large rally has also been planned by the union for 10:30 Windsor on Friday - scheduled to coincide with an investors' meeting GM is hosting across the river in Detroit.

Unifor has refused to consider negotiations on a shutdown of Oshawa.

Paterson said in a phone interview that the move in the auto market away from cars means the company has to transition away from the models, while it is too expensive and will take too long to shift other production to the already under capacity Oshawa plant.

GM officials have said the fate of the US plants is subject to talks with the United Auto Workers union, which represents the USA workers at those plants.

GM has been in Oshawa for 109 years.