As part of a major global restructuring, the Oshawa Assembly plant, which have been with GM since before Chevrolet was even a part of the company, will be closed, alongside Lordstown Assembly in Ohio, and Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly in Michigan. GM said the Oshawa closure will affect 2,973 assembly line workers, or roughly 35 percent if its Canadian workers.
The Oshawa Assembly facility was tasked with building outgoing, yet highly profitable General Motors K2xx pickup trucks, which will reportedly run through 2019. Though if there’s nobody willing to do the work, it’s assumed that these plans will be accelerated. The Oshawa Assembly plant also previously built the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro, among other vehicles, and the plant has been recognized for its quality over the years.
According to Reuters, even Doug Ford’s provincial government claims it was left in the dark up until the very last minute. GM Canada President Travis Hester reportedly informed the Ontario Premier “the ship has already left the dock.” Of course for many Canadians, this feels like a kick in the nuts after governments at the federal and provincial level supported GM through its bankruptcy alongside its US counterparts during the 2009 economic crisis.
Members of Canadian union, Unifor, walked out of the Oshawa Assembly plant “in protest,” earlier on Monday prior to a meeting with GM. Meanwhile, Unifor president Jerry Dias said he plans to be “very aggressive and very aggressive soon” when dealing with GM in the wake of the announcement. With the new USMCA trade agreement expected to be formally signed this week between the US, Canada, and Mexico, the news definitely stings as Canadian suppliers were looking to grow their exports, not see a significant chunk of their home-grown business ripped away.