Economy

Ontario Welcomes New Investment at GM Oshawa

Ontario Welcomes New Investment at GM Oshawa”

Finally, a positive announcement about jobs in Oshawa.

Unfortunately most of the roughly 2,600 hourly workers now employed in Oshawa assembly will still lose their jobs, though there will be opportunities for them to move to other GM plants in Ontario.

The automaker will also use 55 acres of the Oshawa property to create a test track for autonomous and advanced technology vehicles.

Dias called the agreement "innovative" but admitted it was far from a ideal solution. "With our Canadian headquarters, our sales and marketing organization, the OnStar support centre, the Oshawa engineering centre, and the new announcements just mentioned here, GM plans to be one of Oshawa's leading companies and employers for many decades to come".

The plan would help save some union jobs at GM's Oshawa car-making plant, even though the operations would be scaled down and it will no longer produce cars, the source added. "The answer is no", Mr. Dias said.

A joint statement from GM Canada and Unifor said the company will offer relocations to other facilities in Ontario for those affected, as well as "enhanced retirement packages" to 1,300 eligible employees. He expressed regret most of the 2,600 jobs will be gone and no cars are planned for the factory.

It was a stake-in-the-heart decision for the once mighty motor city - already a reduced operation from its hay day that began more than a century ago.

General Motors will invest $170 million converting the Oshawa, Ontario assembly plant it had meant to close into a parts production facility and autonomous vehicle test track.

While political leaders including Premier Doug Ford and the federal Liberal government originally felt there was nothing that could be done, it was announcement Dias refused to accept. "Tell us what needs to be done", Dias said. The Escalade they make in Mexico is sold for $110,000, like it would if it was made here. "I will suggest that instead of us facing a hard closure in December of this year ... we have an understanding between the parties of a long-term commitment".

Ontario's Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Todd Smith, welcomed the news.

Jerry Dias, president of Unifor, said he was glad GM is maintaining a footprint in Oshawa, and said he believes employment will grow as the plant wins new work.



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