General Motors Canada was awarded a major investment into engineering and research and development, but the news coincides with the stark contrast in local manufacturing. The Oshawa, Ontario facility currently does not have any production mandate past 2017, and it’s beginning to worry employees.
Last week, Unifor union members threatened to strike at the facility if General Motors does not make a new vehicle investment past 2017. In addition, GM product and supply chain head, Mark Reuss, weighed in on the matter, stating the engineering investment for GM Canada will not affect any manufacturing securement.
“Philosophically, I’m not sure it’s a massive influence because what we’re doing here and talking about today is really the future of the automobile globally,” Reuss told The Financial Post.
“We happen to be across the street from a manufacturing facility … but I don’t think what we’re talking about today in terms of the growth and innovation piece of this is directly related to manufacturing.”
Jerry Dias, the national president of Unifor, stated he was optimistic about labor contract negotiations with GM, which full begin later this summer. However, he stated the union is not ready to give up much.
“I’m not going into bargaining expecting that we’re going to have to give concessions at all,” Dias said. “Our members haven’t had a wage increase in 10 years, our members have given significantly over the years, so now it’s about time that we bargain job security for our members here in Oshawa.”