GM said on November 26 it would close the Oshawa assembly plant and five other factories by December, 2019, eliminating more than 6,000 hourly jobs on top of thousands of salaried positions to save US$6-billion a year.
Dias said the meeting further confirmed for him how GM's executives based the plant closure decisions exclusively on "corporate greed" by moving production to Mexico where he said the company's employee wages are roughly $2 per hour. In addition, GM is closing plants in South Korea and two other overseas locations.
The ongoing shift of auto manufacturing by GM away from Canada and USA has helped boost profits for the automaker to what the union leader said reached US$6 billion over the first nine months of 2018. He said GM is ending production in Oshawa so it can save labour costs by shifting work to low-priced Mexican plants.
The union proposals included continuing to produce sedans at the Oshawa plant until a long-term solution could be found. It also suggested GM reverse a decision to move production of vehicles such as the Chevy Blazer to Mexico, where workers are paid less.
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Whether the union will have any luck convincing GM to stay in Oshawa remains to be seen, especially since GM hasn't backed away from plans to shutter American facilities.
BMO Capital Markets cited the restructuring as a key factor on Monday when it upgraded GM to outperform and raised its price target to $41 from $38.
GM also said it has 5,000 employees that will remain in Canada once the idling is complete and that it has spent millions of dollars helping the affected Oshawa workers access transition services.
In a statement issued Tuesday, GM said the Unifor proposals "would involve substantial incremental costs and a further deterioration of GM's competitive position".
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"Unfortunately, none of them were economically viable", GM Canada vice-president David Paterson said in an interview.
A large rally has also been planned by the union for 10:30 a.m.in Windsor on Friday - scheduled to coincide with an investors' meeting GM is hosting across the river in Detroit. None of the options were economic, he said by phone. The union has also emphasized the many spin-off jobs that depend on the Oshawa plant and the wider impacts of its closure on the economy. But they received a "no" in a meeting at the automaker's headquarters on Tuesday afternoon.
"Until they turn the lights off, it's always prudent to keep trying", Volpe said. "But all they look at is the bottom line of profits".
"We understand they're perhaps not ready for that discussion".
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The Mayor would not reveal what's being discussed, but when asked if it could save the Poletown plant, the Mayor said, "Oh, I don't know about that".