Latest News

GM decision to leave called “shameful”

Dear Editor,

GM makes remarkable profits in Canada and internationally, so it has the resources to continue to invest in Oshawa.

GM workers in Oshawa are leaders in auto manufacturing recognized by the many awards they have won, so there is a skilled and knowledgeable workforce available. GM Canada invested in developing flex line manufacturing here in Oshawa.

GM Canada invested recently in a new technical engineering centre in nearby Markham adding to centres already in Oshawa, Kitchener-Waterloo and soon to be Toronto so there is even more technical expertise in Oshawa and nearby.

GM invested at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) in the Automotive Centre of Excellence, and UOIT offers an automotive-focused engineering program adding to the local skilled available workforce.

GM Oshawa can build the kind of cars being proposed for the future that leave a reduced carbon footprint – autonomous cars, battery electric cars, fuel cell electric vehicles and solar powered cars in Oshawa. Moreover, Oshawa and Canadian taxpayers paid the bill when the government bailed out GM Canada when they faced bankruptcy. Oshawa is and has been an economically-friendly environment for GM.

With all these positives, why would GM Canada propose closing the manufacturing facility in Oshawa? That is not good business sense based on the investment record.

Why is GM Canada terminating an agreement early that lasts another two years with unionized autoworkers? That is disrespectful of the rights of the unionized workers who have worked hard hours of overtime producing vehicles in Oshawa. It’s also a breach of agreement.

Why is GM Canada continuing to downsize and propose closure in 2019 of what has been a highly profitable operation in Oshawa?

Workers, their families, the citizens and businesses in the surrounding communities of Oshawa and Durham Region have a right to answers, a right to be outraged, a right to be upset, a right to take action to oppose this decision, and a right to expect that GM Canada will rethink, reconsider and renegotiate after announcing an insensitive, mean-spirited plant closure decision for Oshawa that defies common sense and business logic.

GM Canada should put their money where their mouth is and develop the cars of the future right here in Oshawa with the local expertise and skilled workforce that have made them a leader in the automotive sector. Stop putting workers and their families on the unemployment lines. That’s shameful.

The GM Canada downsizing and contract strips in Oshawa have been going on for more than 10 years and continues to be an embittering experience that makes people buy from any other manufacturer that produces in Canada. It’s time to stand up for a better deal for Oshawa and GM workers from GM Canada.

Julia McCrea