General Motors Oshawa plant workers stage sit-down strike

Jerry Dias

Union head to discuss fate of GM Oshawa plant - 680 NEWS

Those would include 4,400 jobs at GM Oshawa and its parts suppliers in Ontario that would be lost in 2020 as well as lost direct and indirect opportunities from keeping the assembly plant open for an additional five years.

GM announced in November the Oshawa plant will close this year, part of cuts in the US and Canada that will see 14,000 workers in North America out of work and five plants closed.

"Having completed an analysis of Unifor's proposals, GM has determined that it can not pursue them because they would not combat the declining economic and market factors that must be addressed", the company said in a letter from GM Canada president Travis Hester and labour relations vice president Gerald Johnson.

"I am deeply disappointed by the response from the corporation", said Dias at a press conference in Windsor, Ont.

Dias said he's not accepting the end of Oshawa, and that the company acknowledged in the meeting it would be possible to extend current production at the plant.

"We're looking at tens of thousands of jobs and a direct hit to the GDP", said Unifor president Jerry Dias in a statement. "It's about the lack of acknowledgement about the success that GM is enjoying today".

The ongoing shift of auto manufacturing by GM away from Canada and USA has helped boost profits for the automaker to what the union leader said reached US$6 billion over the first nine months of 2018. It also plans to hold a demonstration in Windsor on Friday. The question is do they have the political will to do so.

"Until they turn the lights off, it's always prudent to keep trying", Volpe said. "The reality is that GM can reverse its decision". They don't care about workers or Canadians.

He said the union should instead work with the company on timing and transition plans for the close to 3,000 jobs impacted.

"In our history, Chrysler has never approached what GM keeps doing to us time and time again", he said.

The General Motors auto assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario.

"We're going to continue to have discussions with them about solutions", Jerry Dias, national president of Unifor, the union that represents workers at the plant, said after meeting with GM officials at the No. 1 USA automaker's Detroit headquarters.

Colin James, president of Unifor Local 222 in Oshawa, speaks to the media with Unifor national leader Jerry Dias on Tuesday at the Unifor Local 444/200 hall following their meeting with General Motors executives in Detroit.

The meeting came a day after Unifor launched TV advertisements lambasting GM for the slated closures on networks across Canada and in Detroit, where GM plans to close the storied Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant that manufactures the hybrid Chevy Volt.

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