Martinrea to shut Ajax automotive plant when GM ends Oshawa production

Martinrea to shut Ajax automotive plant when GM ends Oshawa production

Reports confirmed by the Sun say USA auto giant General Motors will shutter the company's Oshawa, Ont. vehicle assembly plant, putting thousands of employees out of work.

We've known for some time that North American consumers just aren't buying sedans much anymore, especially not North American ones.

GM said it would close four plants in the USA states of Michigan, Maryland, and Ohio.

GM has the poorest plant utilization rates in the U.S. Its assembly plants represented about 1 million of the 3.2 million units of underutilized capacity through October, according to Dziczek.

Production at the plant began on November 7, 1953, and in the 1980s the plant employed roughly 23,000 people.

"They're not closing our damn plant without one hell of a fight" said Jerry Dias, National President of Unifor.

When the truck plant closure was announced, a convoy of some 250 cars surrounded GM's Oshawa operations, temporarily halting production.

The proposal boosts regional content of tariff-free automobiles to 75 per cent and requires 40 per cent of a auto be made by workers earning US$16 an hour, shifts that favour Canadian and USA plants over those in Mexico and overseas.

The Oshawa plant has the largest headcount among those slated to close, with 2,973 workers expected to lose their jobs.

"While the union does not have complete details of the overall announcement we have been informed that, as of now, there is no product allocated to the Oshawa Assembly Plant past December 2019", the statement reads.

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"The ones that are sole-sourced to the plant, you know, who've been living off GM rather than getting out and hustling other business, they're vulnerable".

OH politicians have also responded to the announcement.Arno Hill, the mayor of Lordstown, told NPR that he received a call from GM to inform him of the decision about five minutes before the news was released to the public.

Meanwhile, GM's Barra said Monday the company will be investing in autonomous and electric vehicle technology.

Barra explained that GM is restructuring now, "while the company and the economy are strong, to stay in front of a fast-changing market".

"Based on commitments made during 2016 contract negotiations, Unifor does not accept this announcement and is immediately calling on GM to live up to the spirit of that agreement", the union said in a statement on its website. GM had been expected to close plants because of struggling sales.

"GM owes the community answers on how the rest of the supply chain will be impacted and what consequences its disastrous decision will have on the Mahoning Valley and our state", Ohio Sen.

Federal and provincial politicians expressed concern for the thousands of high-paying jobs at the Oshawa plant - as well as the potential trickle-down effect a closure could have.

General Motors Co.'s (GM) plan to shut down its long-serving Oshawa, Ont. plant puts Canada's declining auto industry on notice while dealing a major blow to thousands of workers with narrow odds of finding comparable wages in the future.

GM's shares in NY jumped as high as 7.8 per cent to US$38.75. Workers had until November 19 to decide, and they would have to exit by the end of the year. Vehicles have become more "software-oriented" and GM will be looking to hire more employees with the "right skill set" going forward, she said.

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