Work­ers at GM’s oshawa as­sem­bly Plant hold work stop­page over clo­sure

Standard-Freeholder (Cornwall) - - BUSINESS -

oshawa, ont. — union­ized work­ers at the Gen­eral Mo­tors as­sem­bly plant in oshawa, ont., staged a se­cond work-stop­page af­ter the com­pany con­firmed it would not re­con­sider plans to close the fa­cil­ity.

uni­for said the protest wed­nes­day morn­ing lasted close to two hours be­fore it ended and fol­lowed about a five-hour sit-down at the plant the even­ing be­fore.

The labour ac­tion came af­ter union pres­i­dent Jerry dias sat down with GM on Tues­day to talk about pro­pos­als the union had made to ex­tend the life of the on­tario plant, but came away empty-handed.

The union has em­pha­sized the wider eco­nomic im­pacts of the shut-down and re­leased a study wed­nes­day putting some hard num­bers to the claims.

“we’re look­ing at tens of thou­sands of jobs and a di­rect hit to the GdP,” said uni­for pres­i­dent Jerry dias in a state­ment.

“should GM pro­ceed with plans to close oshawa, the eco­nomic im­pact would be sub­stan­tial, both in the short and long term.”

The eco­nomic anal­y­sis es­ti­mates the clo­sure of the plant by the end of the year will re­sult in 14,000 fewer jobs in on­tario and 10,000 fewer jobs out­side the prov­ince by 2025, com­pared with keep­ing the as­sem­bly plant open.

Those would in­clude 4,400 jobs at GM oshawa and its parts sup­pli­ers in on­tario that would be lost in 2020 as well as lost di­rect and in­di­rect op­por­tu­ni­ties from keep­ing the as­sem­bly plant open for an ad­di­tional five years.

The clo­sure would also cut on­tario’s GdP by $5 bil­lion and mean $330 mil­lion less pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment rev­enue next year, and lead by 2030 to about a bil­lion dol­lars less in com­bined pro­vin­cial and fed­eral rev­enues, the study es­ti­mates.

The de­clin­ing size of the auto sec­tor, how­ever, con­trast to gains go­ing on else­where in the econ­omy, said Bank of Canada Gov­er­nor stephen Poloz in a news con­fer­ence wed­nes­day on mon­e­tary pol­icy.

“It’s im­por­tant to un­der­stand that there’s a whole lot of other things go­ing on out there that are ac­tu­ally do­ing re­ally well.”

Poloz, who is from oshawa, said he doesn’t like to see the shrink­ing foot­print of GM in the city but is hope­ful for its fu­ture.

“Be­ing from oshawa, I re­gret that very much. when I was young in oshawa there were, you know, 10 times as many peo­ple work­ing there,” said Poloz.

“what has hap­pened over the past 40 years is it has gone from that to al­most zero, and it’ll be zero in oshawa. and yet oshawa has grown and peo­ple live there and they all have jobs. so this is what hap­pens in economies.”

he noted that na­tion­ally, the in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy ser­vices sec­tor is grow­ing ro­bustly, and is now larger than the auto and aero­space in­dus­tries com­bined.

GM has said the op­tions suggested by the union to keep the oshawa plant open, in­clud­ing ex­tend­ing the life of the Chevy Im­pala and Cadil­lac XTs pro­duced at the plant or shift­ing pro­duc­tion slated for Mex­ico to the plant, are not eco­nom­i­cally vi­able.

The com­pany ac­knowl­edged the frus­tra­tion that led to the work stop­pages, but urged the union to in­stead work with the com­pany on tim­ing and tran­si­tion plans for the ap­prox­i­mately 2,600 union­ized work­ers who are los­ing their jobs.

“we un­der­stand our union’s frus­tra­tion but need to now work to­gether to de­liver sup­ports, tran­si­tion and train­ing for our em­ploy­ees for new op­por­tu­ni­ties over the com­ing year,” spokes­woman Jen­nifer wright wrote in an email.

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.

uni­for has re­fused to con­sider ne­go­ti­a­tions on a shut-down of oshawa.

The union has planned a rally in wind­sor, ont. Fri­day to co­in­cide with a GM in­vestor up­date. The Cana­dian Press

Should GM pro­ceed with plans to close Oshawa, the eco­nomic im­pact would be sub­stan­tial, both in the short and long term.” Uni­for pres­i­dent Jerry Dias

STAN BE­HAL/TORONTO SUN

Oshawa Gen­eral Mo­tors plant work­ers walked off the job Wed­nes­day protest­ing the pro­posed clo­sure of the plant.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.