Auto workers walk off the job to save GM’s Oshawa, Canada plant

Cornelia Mascio
Febbraio 11, 2019

Union workers at a Canadian vehicle seat plant walked off the job Friday to protest General Motors' planned closure of an Ontario manufacturing facility.

Unionized workers of the Lear vehicle seat assembly plant in Whitby, Ontario, Canada, walked off the job on Friday in solidarity with their union's campaign to save a General Motors assembly plant in nearby Oshawa, Ontario.

Full production of Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks resumed at the Oshawa plant at approximately 3:10 p.m. EST (20:10 GMT), said Unifor Local 222 President Colin James. The strike at Lear, which has 350 unionized workers, is the latest measure in a Unifor campaign that aims to convince GM to extend production at the Oshawa plant to September 2020, when the current contract expires.

The event began at 7:00 a.m. today and demonstrates opposition to GM's plan to end production at Oshawa Assembly, demanding government intervention. About 2,600 members are employed at the Oshawa plant, where GM has had a presence in the city for over 100 years. "So far, with this illegal action, there hasn't been any direct impact", Wright said.

Oshawa, which runs at 30 percent capacity, produces about 250 Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impalas cars daily, on a single shift. "All the suppliers, including Lear Whitby, are impacted by a potential closure", James said. The employees at Lear face probable job losses in the Oshawa plant's closure.

"We demand that government act to protect these workers who stand to lose everything, and work with Unifor and GM to find a solution for the Oshawa assembly plant", Unifor president Jerry Dias said in a statement.

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