GM rejects Unifor proposals to keep Oshawa assembly plant open past 2019

Union head to discuss fate of GM Oshawa plant - 680 NEWS

GM workers stage another sit-in at Oshawa plant

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". "In the end, I'm confident that we're going to be okay through all this, and that the key for folks, for example, in Oshawa is to focus on: How do we adjust?"

GM confirmed it has no plans to build vehicles in the Oshawa plant after the end of 2019, which is part of a broad restructuring announced in November.

"Having completed an analysis of Unifor's proposals, GM has determined that it can not pursue them because they would not combat the declining economic and market factors that must be addressed", the automaker said in the letter from GM Canada president Travis Hester.

In November, GM announced it would close 5 plants this year, 4 in the U.S. and this one in Canada.

GM said in a letter to Dias that it had already considered several proposals including those the union raised at the meeting.

Dias said the union is still not be accepting the closure of our Oshawa facilities.

Dias also previously said one option would be to extend operations for nine months, when regular contract talks are scheduled to begin, allowing more time for a long-term solution.

He said the union should instead work with the company on timing and transition plans for the close to 3,000 jobs impacted.

An angry Dias spoke to media in Windsor after Tuesday's meeting.

"GM has not only picked a fight with Unifor but they have picked a fight with all of Canada", said Dias.

The ongoing shift of auto manufacturing by GM away from Canada and USA has helped boost profits for the automaker to what the union leader said reached US$6 billion over the first nine months of 2018. GM Chief Executive Mary Barra promised in early December to keep an "open mind" about another affected plant, Ohio's Lordstown Assembly. "This is not only about jobs in Oshawa, but Canadians as a nation".

While Unifor vowed it will not advocate for a boycott of GM products, the union leader believes Canadian vehicle buyers are already steering away following the Oshawa plant announcement. The company employs 8,150 in Canada. It also operates two shifts that complete final assembly on the outgoing generation of Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups.

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