Yesterday, workers at General Motors’ CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario were met with some disheartening news when Unifor confirmed that GM would be temporarily laying off most workers there beginning the week of September 30th.
But it’s workers at GM‘s San Luis Potosi plant, which like CAMI builds the Chevrolet Equinox, that have more to be upset about. The automaker permanently cut a shift at the Mexican plant, reducing it to just two shifts starting August 12th. Unifor Local 88 representative Mike Van Boekel was surprised to see GM cut a shift at the Mexican plant instead of the Canadian one, but has sympathy for the workers that will be let go.
“They have been notified that they’re going to take a shift off of them permanently starting August 12th. It’s not good news for us but it’s terrible news for them,” Van Boekel told Global News. “I think it’s quite remarkable with all the news going on with Mexico and everything else that they’re electing to take a shift off the Mexican plant instead of the CAMI plant.”
GM has faced considerable backlash in recent months after it decided to close five North America plants, including the Oshawa Assembly plant in Ontario, after having recently allocated products to other countries. The Chevrolet Blazer, built at GM’s Ramos Arizpe factory in Mexico, has become a symbol of the controversy, with many believing the automaker should have elected to build it at one of its US plants. The Los Angeles Times called the Blazer a “political pariah,” in a headline this week, while one automotive blog referred to it as a “punching bag.”
Van Boekel said the temporary layoffs at the Ingersoll plant will hurt workers there, but is remaining optimistic that it won’t last long.
“It’ll be everybody in the plant other than our trades — they’ll keep working, just fixing stuff and preparing stuff,” he said. “It’s just for one week at a time, so it is bad that way — money’s always tight, people live on budgets — but hopefully it’s only two or three weeks and we just get going and keep going again in the new year.”
Source: Global News