General Motors to close Canadian factory, putting 3000 jobs at risk

27 November, 2018, 00:36 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • TV report: General Motors plans to close Canadian assembly plant

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.as part of a global reorganization.

GM plans to halt production at three assembly plants: Lordstown Assembly in Warren, Ohio, Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly and Oshawa Assembly in Otanario, Canada. The plants made sedans that have waned in popularity, including the Chevrolet Volt, Impala and Cruise, the Buick LaCrosse, and the Cadillac CT6 and XTS.

Over the last two years, GM has been removing shifts from the Lordstown plant, causing approximately 3,000 workers to lose their jobs. Vehicles have become more "software-oriented" and GM will be looking to hire more employees with the "right skill set" going forward, she said.

Despite workers' optimism that a solution could be found to keep the plant in operation, as has happened several times in the past, Ford said he'd been told by GM that the company would not rethink its decision. "We have a lot of pressure on them".

"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 Mary Barra, GM's chief executive officer, at a press conference on Monday morning. He said he told the company that the USA has done a lot for GM and that if its cars aren't selling, the company needs to produce ones that will. It was about 50 percent cars just five years ago.

President Trump told reporters, "We don't like it, I believe they'll be opening up something else".

The moves will result in cash savings of about $6 billion, cost reductions of $4.5 billion and a lower capital expenditure annual run rate of nearly $1.5 billion, according to a company statement.

GM had been expected to close plants because of struggling sales. Workers had until November 19 to decide, and they would have to exit by the end of the year.

Unifor says discussions with GM are scheduled to take place Monday.

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Three assembly plants, in Detroit, Ohio, and Ontario, are earmarked for the main cuts, along with two factories in MI and Maryland that build transmissions and batteries.

Too many of GM's factories are operating on a single shift to build models that have fallen out of favour, leading its plants to run about 1 million vehicles short of their full capacity, said Kristin Dziczek, vice president of industry, labor and economics for the Centre for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan. GM has informed the Canadian government of the plan.

In all, about 6,300 workers will be laid off.

But the next automaking leader may not be GM or one of its traditional rivals.

Four factories in the USA and one in Canada could be shuttered by the end of 2019 if the automaker and its unions don't come up with an agreement to allocate more work to those facilities, GM said in a statement Monday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a tweet that workers at the plant have been "part of the heart and soul of Oshawa for generations". She added that shutting down or closing a plant is an issue that must be discussed in negotiations with the United Auto Workers.

"GM owes the community answers on how the rest of the supply chain will be impacted and what consequences its disastrous decision will have on the Mahoning Valley and our state", Ohio Sen.

In 2015, assembly of the Chevrolet Camaro in Oshawa ended and in 2016, assembly of both the Chevrolet Impala and Equinox came to an end.

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