Hundreds of people across the City of Kawartha Lakes will be affected if GM Oshawa shuts down its operations after 2019, as is being widely reported on multiple media outlets.
On Unifor’s website, a statement is posted that says a significant restructuring announcement will be made by GM on Monday, November 26, 2018 at approximately 10 a.m.”
“Our understanding,” the statement continues, “is that this announcement will include restructuring at several GM facilities in North America, including GM Oshawa. GM has indicated there is no product allocated to GM Oshawa after December 2019.”
The union statement notes they’ve been down this road before. “Given GM registered $US 6 billion in profits in the first three quarters of this year and North America is responsible for 90% of GM’s global profits, it only makes sense to move new product to the only plant capable of making both cars and trucks. Not to mention the importance of our plants spin off jobs to our local economy.”
The Oshawa plant is the only one in North America that can manufacture both cars and trucks.
CTV and the Globe and Mail are reporting that the restructuring is occurring in an effort to build more non-emissions vehicles and autonomous vehicles.
As CBC reported, in 2009, as part of an effort to bailout the auto sector, “GM received several billion dollars in loans and support from the Canadian and Ontario governments as it went through bankruptcy protection.”
CBC further notes that in October, Export Development Canada, the national export credit agency, showed there was an outstanding loan to GM Corp. for more than $1 billion. The loan also appears to be attributed to a bankrupt version of the firm that was split off from a viable version of GM that year.
According to GM’s website, the Oshawa Assembly Plant employs 2,522 workers with Unifor Local 222. At its peak in the 1980s, the plant employed about 23,000 people.
In addition to the Oshawa jobs that people commute to, there are many spin-off industries that will be affected, including Armada Toolworks in Lindsay.