It was not immediately clear if the protest would last beyond Tuesday, nor was it known how much production was being lost by GM.
The Oshawa plant builds the Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac XTS sedans on a one-shift line, and it completes final assembly on previous-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup bodies on another line that operates on two shifts. GM said Tuesday it would continue with its plans to stop allocating product to the Oshawa plant beyond 2019, rejecting Unifor’s proposals to save the plant from closure.
Unifor President Jerry Dias said workers organized the sit-down after it was announced that GM would not change course. Dias held a press conference across the Detroit River in Windsor, Canada, on Tuesday following a meeting with GM executives in Detroit and said the automaker was acting out of “corporate greed.”
“Our members were watching the press conference, and when they listened to what we had to say, they didn’t go to work,” he said. “They’ve had enough. That was our workers saying to GM, ‘What’s wrong with you?’”
Dias said he did not know how long the protest would continue.“We’re just playing it by ear,” he said. “Our members are going to make up their own mind, and we’re going to support whatever actions they want to take. It’s not more complicated than that.”