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Is GM abandoning Oshawa?

Dear Editor,

GM appears to believe that the ongoing contract talks are between GM and its union, Unifor. Wrong again.

The upcoming contract talks are between GM and the Canadian taxpayers who are looking for a return on their investment, having bailed out GM from bankruptcy protection. It wasn’t that long ago GM was referred to as Government Motors.

Today, GM is back to business, making record profits, its culture of entitlement is back alive and well, its executives have been richly rewarded. For its workers and their community, it’s quite another story. GM appears to be looking for an exit out of Oshawa unless the government and Unifor put more money on their corporate plate. Not impressed. Putting a gun to a worker’s head is one thing, putting a gun to a taxpayer’s head is quite another.

What arrogance – a public relations disaster in the making. If GM simply thinks they can exit out of Oshawa without paying a heavy price, guess again. There will be a heavy price in lost GM sales.

As a lifetime buyer of GM products, it will be the last time I ever buy one. I would rather walk with the workers than drive with GM. Oshawa, the birthplace of the Buick, is a story of 100 years of R.S. McLaughlin’s life and work. GM has shamed his legacy.

Crossing the ocean, earmarked to land on Canadian soil, are two ships loaded with Buicks built in China. R.S. McLaughlin would never have stood for it and neither should we. R.S. McLaughlin declared that his workers’ willingness and conscientious was the backbone of any business, and rightly so. It’s something GM would be well to remember. GM shouldn’t need to be reminded Canada didn’t bail out GM so that they could build products in China or Mexico on our dime.

The mayor of Oshawa has invited Mary Barra, the president of GM, to come and meet the stakeholders in Oshawa and learn the rich history of GM in Oshawa. The President of the United States can come to Canada to speak, so why can’t Mary Barra? Is she afraid to face us and look us in the eye? Is she afraid to tell us what is in store for GM Oshawa and its workers?

Gord Vickers

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