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Sting bringing musical to Oshawa in support of GM workers

Sting, the legendary frontman of The Police, is bringing his musical “The Last Ship” to Oshawa in support of GM workers (Photo courtesy The Last Ship)

By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express

One of the biggest names in the history of rock music is joining in the battle against the closure of Oshawa’s GM assembly plant.

Sting, the former frontman of The Police who went onto a successful solo career, is bringing his musical “The Last Ship” to the Tribute Communities Centre on Valentine’s Day.

“The Last Ship” is in the midst of a run at Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre.

The musical is set in the UK community of Newcastle, Sting’s hometown, and tells the story of the shut down of the local shipyard, which the community’s economy has revolved around for centuries.

A grassroots protest then begins to fight the closure.

In a media release, Unifor national president Jerry Dias says the story of “The Last Ship” mirrors the battle that is ongoing in Oshawa.

“With the departure from his hometown, Sting witnessed first-hand what becomes of workers and their families when the core industry is ripped away,” Dias states. “The tremendously powerful story of ‘The Last Ship’ resonates deeply as it speaks to the dignity of work, how it shapes individuals and their communities, and the heavy personal toll that is paid when workers livelihoods are taken from them. The Oshawa GM workers are incredibly grateful to Sting and the cast of this show for their support as they continue to fight for the jobs.”

Oshawa GM employees and other Unifor members were given the first crack at tickets to the performance.

Kathleen O’ Keefe says if there are tickets are left over, Unifor will release them to the public but details won’t be available until Tuesday afternoon.

General Motors announced its plans to shut down the Oshawa assembly plant at the end of 2019 last November.

The move is expected to impact roughly 2,500 jobs within the plant.