Friday, 18 January, 2019

‘Deeply disappointed’: Unifor president Jerry Dias reacts after GM meeting

Union head to discuss fate of GM Oshawa plant - 680 NEWS GM workers stage another sit-in at Oshawa plant
Nellie Chapman | 11 January, 2019, 14:32

David Paterson, vice-president of corporate affairs at GM Canada, says the union should instead work with the company on timing and transition plans for the approximately 3,000 workers who are losing their jobs.

"General Motors acknowledged that it could save the Oshawa Assembly Plant, but simply chooses not to, even though it wouldn't hurt the company's bottom line to keep the plant operational until the end of the current contract in 2020", said Dias.

"We're looking at tens of thousands of jobs and a direct hit to the GDP", said Unifor president Jerry Dias in a statement. Workers also staged a protest on the Tuesday afternoon shift, then walked off the job, after they got word that GM had not accepted the union's proposals to save the factory during a meeting with labor leaders.

GM also has not allocated new products for four US plants, raising the possibility of their closure and the elimination of a total of about 15,000 jobs in North America.

Production at the Oshawa plant began on November 7, 1953, and in the 1980s the plant employed roughly 23,000 people.

"GM today, by reconfirming their decision, has not only picked a fight frankly with Unifor, but they have picked a fight with all of Canada", said Dias.

"Being from Oshawa, I regret that very much", Poloz said at press conference in Ottawa after holding interest rates steady for a second straight time. "This is not only about jobs in Oshawa, but Canadians as a nation".

GM has claimed its restructuring plan, including the plant closures, stands to save the company US$6 billion annually. The union has planned a rally in Windsor, Ont. Friday to coincide with a GM investor update.

Dias said the union is still not be accepting the closure of our Oshawa facilities. GM has been in Oshawa for 109 years.

"The reality is General Motors is going to have to find a solution to keep our Oshawa Plant going". A union spokesperson said workers are returning back on the production line.

The release of the study comes one day after Dias met with GM officials in Detroit to make his case for extending the life of the Oshawa plant, though he came away from that meeting empty handed and told reporters that the auto manufacturer was guilty of "corporate greed" and was "picking a fight with all of Canada".

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.