GM to close North American plants in major overhaul

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"They better damn well open a new plant there very quickly", Trump said.

The president of the largest private sector union in Canada meets with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today, still vowing to ramp up pressure on General Motors to shift production of another vehicle to Oshawa to stave off the closure of its plant there.

I suppose, in hindsight, we should have seen this coming.

GM also said Monday it will close two unidentified assembly plants outside of North America by the end of next year. "Our quality and GM's quality in Oshawa has been second to none, but the reality is that stuff doesn't tend to matter in the new environment".

In the 1980s, the facility employed as many as 40,000 people assembling and engineering cars for the United States and Canada.

"We're not buying the argument that nothing can be done", said Unifor president Jerry Dias following the meeting.

The U.S. plant closures must be negotiated with the UAW, which could refuse to agree to a collective bargaining agreement and strike the automaker's plants nationally - ceasing production of highly profitable truck and SUV plants that are subsidizing costs of autonomous and electrified vehicles.

The General Motors Oshawa Assembly Plant has been building vehicles in Oshawa since 1953, GM says on its website.

(Workers at the Oshawa plant are represented by a Canadian union.) The plants can't be officially closed under the current UAW contract, which will be renegotiated in 2019.

"You will see us have new employees joining the company as others leave the company", Barra said. GM has informed the Canadian government of the plan. The shift will eliminate thousands of factory jobs and 15 per cent of the company's salaried staff.

Meanwhile, GM's Barra said Monday the company will be investing in autonomous and electric vehicle technology.

Assembly plants that will be unallocated in 2019 include GM's Oshawa Assembly plant in Oshawa, Canada, the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant in Detroit, as well as the company's Lordstown Assembly in Warren, Ohio.

She added that the largest USA automaker is "taking these actions now while the company and economy are strong, to stay ahead of fast-changing industry and market conditions".

Dias also reiterated that Unifor is willing to organize mass walkouts at GM's US and Canadian plants in order to send a message to the company.

Mayor John Henry, who was born in Oshawa to an auto worker father, said word of the pending closure, especially just before Christmas, is going to hurt.

GM's history in Canada dates back more than 100 years.

GM expects the actions announced Monday to contribute $6 billion in cash savings by 2020 - $4.5 billion in cost reductions and $1.5 billion in lower capital expenditures.

GM's shares in NY jumped as high as 7.8 per cent to US$38.75. GM propulsion plants in White Marsh, Maryland and Warren, Michigan will also be shut. Last month, GM rival Ford Motor.

Scheer said that his party will call for an emergency debate in the House of Commons "to press the Liberal government for a plan on how they will respond to the thousands of people out of work and how they will protect remaining manufacturing jobs in Ontario", he said in a statement. They are meant to be proactive steps to ensure GM for the future.

MP Erin O'Toole, whose riding of Durham includes part of Oshawa, said Monday that the news came as a surprise, as Oshawa seemed to have a reputation for being one of the company's most productive plants.

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