GM re­jects Uni­for pro­pos­als to keep Oshawa as­sem­bly plant open

Simcoe Reformer - Times-Reformer - - CLASSIFIEDS -

WIND­SOR,Ont.—Gen­er­alMo­tors is stick­ing with its plans to shut the Oshawa As­sem­bly Plant by the end of the year in a move the head of Uni­for says is mo­ti­vated by “cor­po­rate greed.”

Uni­for pres­i­dent Jerry Dias sat down with GM Tues­day to talk about the pro­pos­als the union had made to ex­tend the life of the On­tario plant but came away empty-handed.

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

The op­tions suggested by the union, in­clud­ing ex­tend­ing the life of the Chevy Im­pala and Cadil­lac XTS cur­rently pro­duced at the plant or shift­ing pro­duc­tion slated for Mex­ico to the plant, are not eco­nomic, said David Pater­son, vice pres­i­dent of cor­po­rate af­fairs at GM Canada.

“We stud­ied all of the dif­fer­ent pro­pos­als in de­tail, some of which we stud­ied in de­tail be­fore, and they all added sub­stan­tial in­cre­men­tal cost and they would not ad­dress the eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion that we have with the shift in the mar­ket­place.”

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.

He said the union should in­stead work with the com­pany on tim­ing and tran­si­tion plans for the close to 3,000 jobs im­pacted. GM said it has iden­ti­fied job op­por­tu­ni­ties, is will­ing to pay for re­train­ing, and is open to ne­go­ti­a­tions on pack­ages for work­ers on top of what is al­ready in­cluded in con­tracts.

The com­pany also said about half of the 2,600 hourly work­ers are el­i­gi­ble for a pen­sion. Re­tire­ment ben­e­fits in­clude about $3,500 a month, a $20,000 car voucher, and a lump sum pay­ment of about $50,000, said Pater­son.

Dias said he’s not ac­cept­ing the end of Oshawa, and that the com­pany ac­knowl­edged in the meet­ing it would be pos­si­ble to ex­tend cur­rent pro­duc­tion at the plant.

“It may not be prof­itable, but it cer­tainly wouldn’t cause them any sort of deep eco­nomic harm,” said Dais.

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