Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Workers at GM's Oshawa Assembly Plant Hold Work Stoppage over Closure

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Workers at GM's Oshawa Assembly Plant Hold Work Stoppage over Closure

Article excerpt

Workers protest GM plant closure in Oshawa, Ont.

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OSHAWA, Ont. - Unionized workers at the General Motors assembly plant in Oshawa, Ont., staged a second work-stoppage after the company confirmed it would not reconsider plans to close the facility.

Unifor said the protest Wednesday morning lasted close to two hours before it ended and followed about a five-hour sit-down at the plant the evening before.

The labour action came after union 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.

The union has emphasized the wider economic impacts of the shut-down and released a study Wednesday putting some hard numbers to the claims.

"We're looking at tens of thousands of jobs and a direct hit to the GDP," said Unifor president Jerry Dias in a statement.

"Should GM proceed with plans to close Oshawa, the economic impact would be substantial, both in the short and long term."

The economic analysis estimates the closure of the plant by the end of the year 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.

The closure would also cut Ontario's GDP by $5 billion and mean $330 million less provincial government revenue next year, and lead by 2030 to about a billion dollars less in combined provincial and federal revenues, the study estimates.

The declining size of the auto sector, however, contrast to gains going on elsewhere in the economy, said Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz in a news conference Wednesday on monetary policy. …

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