GM to temporarily lay off 1,200 workers at Canadian plant

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General Motors said on Wednesday it plans to temporarily lay off about 1,200 workers at its plant in Oshawa, Ontario, which performs final assembly of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks.

The Oshawa plant ran out of parts for the pickups on Tuesday due to the UAW’s strike against the automaker in the U.S. Workers at Oshawa are presented by Unifor. 

“We anticipated there would be an impact because of the strike,” said David Paterson, a spokesman for General Motors Canada.

The plant also produces the Cadillac XTS and Chevy Impala sedans. Reuters reported sedan production continues. 

GM Canada spokeswoman Jennifer Wright told Automotive News Canada that the automaker’s Canadian dealer network has not yet been affected by the strike.

Jonathon Azzopardi, chair of the Canadian Association of Mold Makers, said because his members are further down the supply chain, they aren’t immediately affected by a strike in the U.S. However, Azzopardi, also president of Windsor-area based Laval International, fears a lengthy strike by the UAW could affect future investment in Canadian tool and die and mold making.

“The UAW is pushing hard,” Azzopardi told Automotive News Canada in a phone interview on Tuesday.

He’s concerned union gains would make for a less profitable General Motors and that means “less investment in future products,” for which his members design the molds.
Azzopardi said union and management are looking to secure as many gains now as possible because the auto industry is potentially facing a downturn.

“They both know the [new-vehicle] market won’t be strong for a long time. We’re due for a correction,” he said.

Automotive News Canada contributed to this report.

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