Unifor, the Canadian worker’s union representing workers from General Motors’ Oshawa Assembly Plant, took out large ads in The Detroit Free Press today urging the automaker to keep the plant open.
The front-page advertisement appeared on the Thursday morning edition of the Detroit paper as representatives from the union prepared to meet with GM executives later in the day to discuss the impending closure of the Oshawa facility.
“U.S. and Canadian workers made GM,” the ad reads, as first reported by The Detroit News. “Why should our jobs and our products go to Mexico? Keep our plants open.”
The front page ad was joined by another four-page insertion in the paper that included a section designed to be displayed in the window of a house or a car. That page simply reads: “I support GM workers.”
Unifor has also set up a dedicated web page on its website promoting the cause. The ‘Save Oshawa GM’ web page outlines the union’s various gripes with the automaker’s decision to leave the Ontario town and says Unifor “does not accept any restructuring plans that will result in the closure of the Oshawa operations.”
The union recently held rallies in Oshawa using the ‘Save Oshawa GM’ branding and has passed out leaflets and even paper christmas ornaments promoting the cause.
Unifor reps also held a rally in Windsor, Ontario on Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s meetings. The rally, held in plain view of General Motors’ Renaissance Center headquarters, featured a sign that read ‘GM Betrayed Canadian Taxpayers’ along with a link to the Save Oshawa GM site.
GM Canada appears to be trying to help displaced workers find new employment, releasing a statement this week saying it’s “committed” to helping the town of Oshawa following its departure.
“General Motors Canada today committed to provide financial support to help its employees with retraining and other assistance that will help them be prepared for more than 2,400 good, available new jobs estimated to be open in the Durham Region area in 2019 and 2020,” the statement read.
GM Canada president Travis Hester said the company will also “work with our community colleges, universities, the government and all interested local employers,” to find displaced workers new employment.
“We are committing millions of dollars from GM Canada to support this effort,” Hester said.
GM announced it would close the Oshawa plant in late November as part of restructuring that will see it lay off 15% of its salaried workforce and shutter five North American plants. In addition to the Oshawa site, GM is also closing down plants in Michigan, Ohio and Maryland.
Stay tuned to GM Authority for more new regarding the future of GM’s Oshawa Assembly plant as additional news becomes available.
(source: The Detroit News)
Photos via Unifor Canada