Unifor statement on Oshawa GM plant

OSHAWA – Unifor received notification today from General Motors that the company will make a major announcement tomorrow that will impact its global operations.

While the union does not have complete details of the overall announcement we have been informed that, as of now, there is no product allocated to the Oshawa Assembly Plant past December 2019.

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.

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‘They are not closing our damn plant’: Union vows fight as GM plans Oshawa closing

The union representing thousands of autoworkers is vowing to fight back against the General Motors plan to close an Oshawa, Ont., plant in 2019 as part of a global restructuring.

It’s not clear how many of the 2,500 employees at the Oshawa assembly facility will lose their jobs under the sweeping strategy, which GM says aims to lower carbon emissions and prepare for a future of electric and autonomous vehicles.

Workers at the plant walked off the job Monday morning in protest.

Jerry Dias, national president of Unifor, blasted GM’s move, which he says violates its agreement with workers. He praised those who work at the plant, which is about 60 kilometres east of Toronto.

“You’re the No. 1 plant that [GM’s] got,” he told the crowd.

“They are not closing our damn plant without one hell of a fight.”

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‘Sick and tired of being pushed around’: Union responds to GM plan to close Oshawa plant

TORONTO – The union representing workers at the General Motors assembly plant in Oshawa, Ont., are promising “one hell of a fight” after the automaker announced it would close the location along with four other facilities in the U.S.

Jerry Dias, national president of Unifor, said the union will fight against the planned move “tooth and nail.”

“They are not closing our damn plant without one hell of a fight.” Dias said to cheers from union members.

“Cause you see we’re sick and tired of General motors shipping all of our jobs to Mexico.”

Dias said the plant has won “every award” and was the best by “every matrix.”

“We are sick and tired of being pushed around. And we’re not going to be pushed around… we deserve respect,” he said.

GM is shutting down the plant in 2019, putting more than 2,500 employees out of work, as the automobile giant forges ahead with its global restructuring plan.

GM said it is taking steps to improve its “overall business performance” by reorganizing its global product development staff, realigning its manufacturing capacity and reducing the salaried workforce.

READ MORE: Timeline: GM Canada’s rise, fall, bailout and eventual departure from Oshawa

“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,” GM chairman and CEO Mary Barra said in a media release.

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Unifor supports Indonesia disaster relief with $70,000 donation

Unifor is supporting Oxfam and Save the Children’s disaster relief efforts in Indonesia with a combined $70,000 donation.

“The scale of the damage from the earthquake and tsunami is massive,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “Save the Children Canada and Oxfam Canada are working with their Indonesian partners to provide vital aid, alleviate suffering and prevent further loss of life from spread of disease.”

On September 28, a 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia’s Sulawesi region, triggering a powerful tsunami. More than 2,000 have been killed, with the death toll expected to climb, as an estimated 5,000 people remain missing, feared buried or swept away.

While the Indonesian government has blocked access to some foreign aid, both Oxfam and Save the Children have deployed relief staff to the hardest hit areas. The Unifor Social Justice Fund has donated $35,000 each to Oxfam Canada and Save the Children Canada to provide medical care, shelter, food and clean water to the tens of thousands displaced by the devastating earthquake and tsunami.

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