Windsor

Windsor Unifor members rally GM to reverse Oshawa decision

Retirees and former GM workers showed up in support of workers in Oshawa.

‘This is about shareholders, this isn’t about new technology,’ says John D’Agnolo

John D'Agnolo says GM should be trying to find a way to put a product in Oshawa's plant. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

Former General Motors workers, retirees and other Unifor members in Windsor gathered in Dieppe Gardens Wednesday afternoon, chanting "You owe Canada!"

They were rallying GM to change the decision to unallocate the Oshawa assembly plant in 2019.

"Canadians have supported them throughout, as we all know," said John D'Agnolo, president of Local 200. "They were going bankrupt and we took care of them, they need to take care of us."

GM announced it was closing a number of its plants on both sides of the border in 2019. The company said it was going to focus on autonomous and electric vehicles moving forward.

Retirees showed up to the rally in support of workers in Oshawa. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

However, D'Agnolo thinks GM's move isn't about new technology.

"This is about shareholders," he said. "If they cared about the workers, they'd be putting that new technology in Oshawa."

Last week, GM said they're working to retrain some employees who will be affected by the closure next year in order to help them find new employment.

Even though the plant closure is not here, if GM Canada continues to close its operations and eventually leave the country, Tony Sisti said it will affect their pensions.

Sisti, chair of Unifor Local 1973 Retirees, said they need to fight to make sure the pensions are secure.

"Until [GM Canada leaves] happens, we're okay, but we will make sure that somehow, that the company will top up our pension plan," he said.

"As retirees, we're a strong group, that we'll come out and do whatever we have to to make sure our pension plans are covered."

With files from Dale Molnar

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