In a recent community update, President and Managing Director of General Motors of Canada, Stephen K. Carlisle, stated that the incentivized retirement program at the Oshawa Assembly plant has been quite successful, and that it will allow the automaker to reduce headcount without layoffs. The program is a result of staff reduction in response to 2016 Chevrolet Camaro production moving from Oshawa to Michigan.
“I am pleased to report that our canvass of Oshawa hourly workers offering incentivized retirement packages related to the Camaro end of production in November has been very successful”, wrote Carlisle. “Every qualified Oshawa Assembly Plant employee who applied for the incentive retirement will be accommodated and this will enable us to cover virtually all of the reductions without layoffs.
In addition, GM Canada is offering a further incentive program that will be available to hourly workers who are not eligible for retirement.
“We are hopeful this additional offer over the coming weeks will enable us to manage this change without the need for any layoffs. This is positive news for our community.”
Here’s the rest of Mr. Carlisle’s update:
Employees who elect to accept these incentive packages, which are provided for under our union agreement, will begin to retire in a phased manner between now and the end of 2015. This planned approach is coordinated with Unifor and will enable us to manage our way through a very busy year of training and retraining to support our unwavering focus on safety, quality and productivity.
“At the end of 2015, Oshawa Assembly will continue producing five vehicle models, on three shifts. Employees with less seniority will now have more opportunities and our community will benefit from the significant talents of our retired GM employees who take with them our deepest thanks for their award winning accomplishments over the past 30 years.”
Of course, like all assembly plants in our industry, we continue to work closely with our partners in government, the union, suppliers and our communities to build and strengthen our investment case for future decisions. We will not be making decisions for future Oshawa products until after our union negotiations in 2016.
I am also pleased to report that we are continuing to strengthen our sales in Canada. We continued to grow year-over-year sales for the month of May with a 4% increase in Canadian Sales and the Chevrolet Colorado and Silverado and GMC Canyon and Sierra led the industry pickup segment. Canada ranks as GM’s 5th largest market out of 140 countries where we sell vehicles worldwide and Canada is our 3rd largest global market for Cadillac sales. The automobile market is strong in Canada and very competitive. This is great for our customers and positive for the future.
Success in our sector increasingly depends on advancements in technology and innovation – especially in the area of the “connected car”. We are proud to have announced our new Oshawa mandate for engineering work in this important area of technological advancement. We have already begun hiring 100 new software engineers at our Canadian Engineering Centre to support our new mandate. This past week we were proud to host visitors from the Governor General’s Leadership Conference tour to discuss the role of engineering, innovation and commercialization in Canada’s future. We had a great discussion and I was pleased to point out that GM’s leadership with our OnStar system, in car Wi-Fi and our newly announced compatibility with Apple Car Play and Android Auto are just part of a revolution in our industry. We are proud to be a leader in this space in Canada.
Let me wrap up with a word on sports! Drivers on the 401 will notice that GM Headquarters in Oshawa was dressed up for the Pan Am Games just in time for the torch run in Oshawa. You may also see our Chevrolet Pan Am vehicles on the roads, supporting volunteers and athletes. Sport brings together our community and that’s why we are proud to be the automotive sponsor for the Pan Am Games. We are also thrilled for our Memorial Cup winning Oshawa Generals! Congratulations team!