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Emily Jackson – Financial Post
January 8, 2019
General Motors refused to budge from its plans to stop
producing vehicles at the Oshawa Assembly Plant, yet Unifor Canada vowed to
keep fighting to save the facility that employs nearly 3,000 people despite the
apparent dead end.
GM and Unifor representatives met Tuesday at GM’s corporate
headquarters in Detroit to discuss the union’s seven proposals to keep the
Oshawa plant operating after GM announced in November it would stop allocating
production to the facility in 2019 as part of a larger restructuring that will
shutter eight facilities, including four in the U.S. GM expects the cuts will
save $6 billion annually, money it intends to invest in “future technologies”
such as self-driving cars and electric vehicles.
But Flavio Volpe, president of the Automotive Parts
Manufacturers’ Association, won’t count out Unifor from getting some sort of
“Until they turn the lights off, it’s always prudent to keep
trying,” Volpe said.
Unifor got product allocated to Oshawa during the 2016 round
of bargaining when many observers thought that was impossible, Volpe said.
On the question of public funding, Volpe said Canada
shouldn’t dismiss the idea outright given the losses associated with closure.
He noted that GM fulfilled its repayment obligations under the last bailout.
Volpe acknowledged that investors have responded positively
to the restructuring from a product perspective and capacity utilization
perspective, but said GM is “so much more than the stock ticker.
“It is entrenched in communities across North America,
including Oshawa,” he said. “It goes down to a deeper question of, does a
commercial entity have an obligation to community loyalty.”
Click here for original article.
Flavio Volpe Discusses
Oshawa and Jerry Dias
Jan. 8, 2019, CP24
here for link to Video.
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