General Motors said to plan closure of major Ontario operation

General Motors said to plan closure of major Ontario operation

General Motors to close Detroit, Ohio, Canada plants

New York (CNN Business)General Motors on Monday announced a major restructuring of its global business, saying it will shut production at five facilities in North America and slash its staff. GM will reduce its salaried workforce by 15%, including a quarter of the companys executives.

GMs stock is soaringEarnings were pretty good last quarterGM announced voluntary buyouts in OctoberFord is phasing out sedans

“If GM Canada is indeed turning its back on 100 years of industry and community ― abandoning workers and families in Oshawa ― then this is a callous decision that must be fought,” she told the network. “Words cannot fully describe the anxiety that my community is feeling at this moment.”

OSHAWA – General Motors will close its production plant in Oshawa, Ont., along with four facilities in the U.S. as part of a global reorganization that will see the company focus on electric and autonomous vehicle programs.

Video: GM announces layoffs, plans to halt production at five plants in U.S., Canada

The auto manufacturer announced the closures as part of a sweeping strategy to transform its product line and manufacturing process in order to meet changing demand in the transportation industry, a plan that it says will save the company $6 billion by the year 2020.

When the federal and provincial governments bailed out the auto industry in 2009 at a time when bankruptcy appeared imminent, the deal required the Big Three to keep 16 per cent of its North American production in Canada ― a requirement that ended in 2016.

GM to close Oshawa plant, leaving 2800 people out of work: Report

The actions we are taking today continue our transformation to be highly agile, resilient and profitable, while giving us the flexibility to invest in the future, said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. We recognize the need to stay in front of changing market conditions and customer preferences to position our company for long-term success.

Video: Tough day: General Motors workers react to news Oshawa plant closing in 2019

GM says it will reduce salaried and salaried contract staff by 15 per cent, which includes 25 per cent fewer executives.

“It’s sombre in there. This is the third time I’ve been through this, and it’s awful,” said Scott Richards, an electrician who’s been with GM for 32 years and said he had previously worked at two plants that are now closed. “I’ll be OK, because I could probably take a package and retire. But I really feel awful for the people who’ve been here 10 or 12 years.”

GM workers have been part of the heart and soul of Oshawa for generations – and well do everything we can to help the families affected by this news get back on their feet. Yesterday, I spoke with @GMs Mary Barra to express my deep disappointment in the closure.

“We’ll do whatever it takes to make sure they get back on their feet,” he pledged in the legislature after a call Trudeau to ask for an extension of employment insurance eligibility when layoffs occur, as has been done in Alberta’s oilpatch, and to press the federal government to continue working with the U.S. to remove punitive steel tariffs.

On Monday morning, dozens of workers were seen walking out of the Oshawa Assembly Plant, with some saying they were very unhappy with news of the planned closure.

“If GM Canada is indeed turning its back on 100 years of industry and community ― abandoning workers and families in Oshawa ― then this is a callous decision that must be fought,” she told the network. “Words cannot fully describe the anxiety that my community is feeling at this moment.”

Unifor, the union representing more than 2,500 workers at the plant, says it has been told that there is no product allocated to the Oshawa plant past December 2019.

“I have seen the same reports as many in my riding, which claim GM may be closing their operations in Oshawa, and I find these reports gravely concerning,” Oshawa NDP MPP Jennifer French told Global News, which said it could confirm the CTV report.

GM to close Canadian plant, but thats just the beginning

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to social media to share his “deep disappointment”, writing “GM workers have been part of the heart and soul of Oshawa for generations — and we’ll do everything we can to help the families affected by this news get back on their feet.”

Meantime, Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he understands a lot of people are feeling shocked and saddened by the GM closure, adding some may even be feeling angry and betrayed.

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Premier Ford says he talked to the GM of General Motors last night. Ford said he asked what he could do, Ford claimed the GM said The ship has already left the dock pic.twitter.com/G72wXIo9NV

Industry analysts are already plotting out possible targets for GM, including its sprawling Lordstown plant in northeastern Ohio. The car produced there is also is built in Mexico. The once-bustling factory already has lost two of its three shifts and 3,000 union jobs since the beginning of last year.

“Our government has already begun exploring measures to help impacted workers, businesses and communities cope with the aftermath of this decision,” he says.

A person briefed on the matter told The Associated Press that the plant being shuttered in Canada is just the beginning as GM prepares for the next economic downturn, shifting trade agreements under the Trump administration, and potential tariffs on imported automobiles.

Ford claims GM’s general manager told him the “ship has already left the dock” when he asked what he could do to prevent the shut down.

GM to cut 14,700 jobs, shutter 5 North American plants

The Minister of Families, Children, and Social Development Jean-Yves Duclos is reassuring workers, saying the federal government has their backs.

“Based on commitments made during 2016 contract negotiations, Unifor does not accept this announcement and is immediately calling on GM to live up to the spirit of that agreement,” the union said, noting that it would be holding a discussion with GM on Monday. 

“We will be expressing our support to the workers affected, and the families and communities. I look forward to being able to tell you more.”

The General Motors Oshawa Assembly Plant has been building vehicles in Oshawa since 1953, GM says on its website. Before 1953, the facility produced McLaughlin Buicks and was one of six locations building Chevrolet before it merged with GM in 1918.

Meanwhile the president and CEO of the Ford Motor Company will be meeting with the prime minister later today.

GM to close 3 assembly plants, cut nearly 15K jobs in North America by end of 2019

According to GM’s website, the Oshawa Assembly Plant employs 2,522 workers with Unifor Local 222. Production began on Nov. 7, 1953, and in the 1980s the plant employed roughly 23,000 people.

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GM to slash 14700 jobs in North America (UPDATED)

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Posted in Ontario