Following the announcement of up to 1,000 new research and development, plus engineering positions, in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, political leaders were still left unsatisfied by General Motors’ failure to commit to Canadian manufacturing.
According to The Oshawa Express, council leaders have called on GM executives to meet with leaders and discuss the future of GM manufacturing in Oshawa. Specifically, the council has proposed EV production for the Oshawa assembly. Currently, the Oshawa assembly has no mandated production after 2017.
General Motors builds the 2016 Chevrolet Volt PHEV in Michigan, while the upcoming 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV will head be one of the few new vehicle programs scheduled for the Orion assembly. The Chevy Spark EV is built in South Korea, but will be replaced by the Bolt EV.
“[The engineering investment] presentation actually caused me great concern,” said Councillor Nancy Diamond. “I think that we need, as a council, to stand with the workers…to stand up and say we are with these workers and we know that they can compete.”
Diamond’s motion has resonated with councillors, all of whom carried it unanimously. Diamond pointed to the many awards and recognitions Oshawa has received to help others understand the award-winning workforce in Canada.
A local activist, Gord Vickers, was blunt in saying, “We didn’t bailout GM for $10 billion just for them to give a lifeline to Mexico. I don’t know what more we can do to keep GM here…we’ve done everything possible to satisfy them.”
The council has extended an invitation to GM CEO, Mary Barra, to meet with council, stakeholders and our other political leaders.