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Workers stream out of Oshawa GM plant amid uncertainty

Workers stream out of Oshawa GM plant amid uncertainty

The reduction includes about 8,000 white-collar employees, or 15 percent of GM's North American white-collar workforce.

GM is cutting more than 6,300 hourly and salaried workers at its plants and 15 percent of the salaried workers in North America for a total of more than 14,000. The charges will take place in the fourth quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of next year.

Oshawa has been a car-manufacturing hub since 1907, and is the headquarters of GM Canada. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk publicly ahead of the announcement. GM had been expected to close plants because of struggling sales.

GM said the closures, which will also affect four US factories, are part of a broader shift toward electric and autonomous vehicles. But the political atmosphere might limit realistic choices for the Detroit automaker. OH taxpayers rescued GM, and it's shameful that the company is now abandoning the Mahoning Valley and laying off workers right before the holidays. The auto produced there is also is built in Mexico.

Jerry Dias, president of Unifor, the union that represents Canadian auto workers. The Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid will also be dropped along with the Chevy Cruze compact (which is sold as the Holden Astra sedan here and built in Korea), which will be made in Mexico for other markets.

"In contrast to times past, General Motors, under CEO Mary Barra, is trying to get ahead of a potential crisis by making cuts now", said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst at Autotrader.

On Monday morning, dozens of workers were seen walking out of the assembly plant, with some saying they were very unhappy with news of the planned closure.

At a rally near the plant last summer, Trump talked about passing by big factories whose jobs "have left OH", then told people not to sell their homes because the jobs are "coming back".




"I promise you they will be back on their feet", Ford told the Ontario legislature. Some 75 percent of its global sales will come from just five vehicle architectures by the early 2020s.

Oshawa Mayor John Henry said he hopes the news is "just a rumour", and adds that he had not spoken to anyone from GM.

"We have no news or comment tonight and won't be commenting to others on speculation", read a brief statement released by David Paterson, the Vice President for Corporate & Environmental Affairs for GM Canada.

Unifor Local 222 shop chairman Greg Moffat said Monday the plant is not closing "without the fight of our lives".

GM said Monday that it has no plans to manufacture vehicles in Oshawa past the end of 2019. "Unifor is scheduled to hold a discussion with General Motors tomorrow and will provide further comment following the meeting".

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz grew up in Oshawa and was well aware of the significance of the industry.

Jennifer French, MPP for Oshawa, says she finds the report of the plant closure "gravely concerning". "The message remains the same - we want GM to know that the auto workers at Lordstown are the best at what they do and that the Lordstown plant needs to be part of the future of GM and the American auto industry", said Lt. Governor-elect Jon Husted.

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