Autoworkers rally at Oshawa GM headquarters to protest assembly plant closure
Autoworkers are rallying outside General Motors Canada headquarters in Oshawa on Wednesday to protest the impending assembly plant closure.
“Workers in Canada will not forgive GM if it continues with the plan to close the Oshawa Assembly Plant and decimate the wider community,” Jerry Dias, Unifor national president, said in a media release.
“For more than 100 years this Oshawa has built and supported General Motors. Today’s actions by Unifor members send the message that GM must reverse the decision to close the plant.”
GM announced in late November that it would wind down its Oshawa operations by the end of 2019 at a loss of about 2,600 unionized workers and 340 other staff.
Federal and provincial officials met with GM executives during the Detroit auto show last week but were unable to secure any deal to keep the plant open.
Members of Unifor, the union representing the bulk of the 2,600 workers, have since staged multiple job actions, including temporary sit-ins on the assembly line.
The union is scheduled to hold a news conference in front of GM headquarters at 2:15 p.m. Wednesday.
“We are not giving up. We are here as long as it takes for them to get the message through their heads that we are not going away and we are not going away anytime soon,” said Colin James, president of Unifor Local 222.
“It’s an award winning plant. General Motors is turning it back on these workers. Not just at General Motors, but at all the supplier base and quite frankly, it will devastate our community.”
Jenn Cowie, who has been a line worker and employee at GM for 16 years, said the plant shutdown stems from corporate greed and the workers won’t go away any time soon.
“We have been betrayed, we are hurt, we are disgusted and there is a wave of emotion going on. We’re not only upset and saddened, but we’re angry.”
VIDEO: Unifor President Jerry Dias says his union will do everything they can to keep the GM plant in Oshawa open
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