UPDATE @ 3:00 p.m.:
General Motors plans to close its production plant in Oshawa along with four facilities in the U-S as part of a global reorganization.
The company plans to focus on electric and autonomous vehicle programs.
G-M announced the closures as part of a sweeping strategy to transform its product line and manufacturing process to meet changing demand in the transportation industry, a plan that it says will save the company six-billion dollars by the year 2020.
C-E-O Mary Barra says the industry is changing very rapidly and it’s appropriate to get in front of the transformations while the company is strong and while the economy is strong.
GM also says it will reduce salaried and salaried contract staff by 15 per cent, which includes 25 per cent fewer executives.
Dozens of workers were seen walking out of the Oshawa Assembly Plant this morning — some calling the shutdown scary and worrying about how they are going to feed their families.
Matt Smith has worked at the Oshawa plant for 12 years and says it’s always been the best plant in North America and the shutdown is horrible.
Unifor, the union representing more than 2,500 workers at the plant, says it’s been told there is no product allocated to the Oshawa plant past December 2019.
Unifor Local 222 shop chairman Greg Moffat says the plant is not closing “without the fight of our lives.”
Ontario Premier Doug Ford says his government has begun exploring measures to help impacted workers, businesses and communities cope with the “aftermath of this decision,” including a training program to help local workers to regain employment as quickly as possible.
He says while the company is entitled to make its own business decisions, he’s confident that history will prove them wrong. (The Canadian Press)
UPDATE @ 2:28 p.m.:
With weeks to go before the holidays, more than 25,000 General Motors workers in Oshawa, Ontario learned Monday morning that they soon won’t have jobs.
The plant will close by the end of next year, dealing a blow to a city and region once synonymous with the automaker.
At a nearby Oshawa mall, new mom Joanna Stojkovic put down the phone after her G-M worker husband passed on the news, saying their livelihood is gone.
G-M says it is closing four U-S plants as well in a restructuring program that will see it focus on electric and autonomous vehicle programs.
The Canadian Press has learned that General Motors Canada will announce Monday that it’s closing its assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario in a move that will affect thousands of high paying jobs.
A source familiar with the situation says the closure is part of a shift in GM’s global production and has nothing to do with the new US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, says the Oshawa facility is the only Canadian plant that will be shuttered.
GM also has manufacturing facilities in St. Catharines and Ingersoll Ontario.
Unifor, the union representing more than 2,500 workers at the Oshawa plant, says in a statement that it doesn’t have full details of today’s announcement, but it’s been informed that no product is allocated to the plant beyond December 2019.
There was no comment from GM Canada Sunday night, and Oshawa Mayor John Henry said he hadn’t spoken to the automaker.
But Henry warned that closing the plant would have ripple effects across Ontario and beyond.
In 2009 the federal and provincial governments invested billions of dollars in GM and Chrysler to keep them afloat.