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
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.
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General Motors will announce Monday it is shutting down all operations in Oshawa, CTV News reported Sunday, throwing at least 2,800 people out of work and ending ties with the city near Toronto that stretch back over 100 years.
CTV cited “numerous sources” for its report, which the National Post could not immediately confirm. The news was greeted on social media Sunday night with shock and disbelief.
“My entire family has worked at General Motors,” outgoing Oshawa Mayor John Henry told CTV. “My dad was a foreman in the plant. I have two brothers in the plant. My sister worked there in university. I worked there as a contractor.”
Amid anxious calls on Twitter for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford to do something save the plant, two local Tory MPs vowed to investigate.
\”Were obviously very concerned with the reports and will be working very hard over the next few days to help the affected workers,\” the official said, adding that it is believed that the decision is part of a broader restructuring that will touch GM operations across North America as GM seeks to move its vehicle lineup to more futuristic models, such a zero-emissions cars.
“Extremely concerned about reports regarding potential closure of GM Canada Oshawa operations,” Durham MP Erin O’Toole tweeted Sunday night. He said he and neighbouring Oshawa MP Colin Carrie were “reaching out for information.”
Speculation on Sunday among union and political sources revolved around whether the Oshawa plant would be affected by the recent announcement by General Motors in the U.S. to commit to a National Zero Emissions Vehicle Program, which it says could add more than seven million electric cars to the road by 2030. No announcement has been made as to where those would be built.
Video: GM plant in Oshawa set to shut down
“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.
“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.
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“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.”
The current plant opened in 1953 and produces Chevrolet Equinox, Cadillac XTS, Buick Regal and Chevrolet Impala, according to the GM Canada website.
Workers ― and others in the city ― held their breath just a few years ago when it appeared the plant might close.
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.
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And just three years ago, Oshawa took a hit when GM moved production of the Chevrolet Camaro to Michigan, slicing 1,000 jobs in Ontario.
While still the economic powerhouse of the city of about 160,000 people 60 kilometres east of Toronto, the GM operations in Oshawa are only a small remnant of the 40,000-worker monolith that once dominated the area’s economy.
FILE – In this June 10, 2011, file photo, a worker checks the paint on a Camaro at the GM factory in Oshawa, Ontario. General Motors is closing a Canadian plant at the cost of about 2,500 jobs, but that is apparently just a piece of a much broader, company-wide restructuring that will be announced as early as Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
But carmaking in Oshawa stretches back to 1909, when the McLaughlin carriage company began making Buick cars, eventually combining with Chevrolet when General Motors was formed.