Workers at GM's Oshawa plant stage second work-stoppage in protest of planned closure

Unionized workers at the General Motors assembly plant in Oshawa are holding another sit-down protest over the planned closure of the facility.

Work stoppage comes after GM management refuses union proposals

General Motors will close its production plant in Oshawa at the end of the year. (Eduardo Lima/Canadian Press)

Unionized workers at the General Motors assembly plant in Oshawa held another sit-down protest over the planned closure of the facility.

The work stoppage Wednesday morning followed an earlier protest on Tuesday.

An economic analysis released by Unifor estimates a closure of the plant by 2020 will result in 14,000 fewer jobs in Ontario and 10,000 fewer jobs outside the province by 2025, compared with keeping the assembly plant open.

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.

Unifor president Jerry Dias sat down with GM on Tuesday to talk about proposals the union had made to extend the life of the Ontario plant, but came away empty-handed.

"People are furious, and legitimately so," Dias said of the resulting work stoppages. "People are feeling betrayed."

The company has said the options suggested by the union, including extending the life of the Chevy Impala and Cadillac XTS produced at the plant or shifting production slated for Mexico to the plant, are not economically viable.

David Paterson, vice-president of corporate affairs at GM Canada, says the union should instead work with the company on timing and transition plans for the approximately 3,000 workers who are losing their jobs.

GM said it has identified job opportunities, is willing to pay for retraining and is open to negotiations on packages for workers on top of what is already included in contracts.

With files from CBC News


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