Rally in Windsor calling for GM to keep Oshawa plant open

Oshawa's GM plant closure to have lasting impact on Canada's economy: Unifor study

Unifor rally seeks to reverse General Motors plant closure

"We're proud people, we're proud Canadians, and I believe Canadians and taxpayers are behind the workers in the city of Oshawa", Moffatt said.

They gathered at GM's Windsor headquarters to hold a rally during an investor's meeting that was taking place in nearby Detroit, where the company announced its rosier financial prospects.

Unifor, which contends GM has violated its 2016 contract with the union by leaving the plant without new products to build, has launched an advertising campaign in Canada and USA attacking GM's plans and threatened by launching a full-blown boycott of GM products in Canada.

Canada's industry minister will meet with General Motors CEO Mary Barra on Monday to urge her to find a solution for the auto giant's soon-to-be-shuttered plant in Oshawa, Ont.

According to automotive consultant Dennis DesRosiers, Unifor's efforts won't change GM's decision, because keeping the plant open wouldn't make the company competitive. "This is too important not just to the community of Oshawa, the province of Ontario, but to Canadians, and we are fighting to the bitter end because General Motors is going to have to change their decision".

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"Workers are now returning to the line with production expected to resume shortly", Unifor spokeswoman Kathleen O'Keefe said.

"Shame on you, General Motors", said Moffat. "We're going no where. Nobody's exempt from corporate greed". Those would include 4,400 jobs at GM Oshawa and its parts suppliers in Ontario that would be lost in 2020, Unifor said.

DesRosiers points to GM's new research centre in Markham, Ont., where the company hired 500 people a year ago and plans to hire up to 1,000 technical engineers.

But the Oshawa plant wouldn't be used to produce those electric vehicles, he said, because there isn't enough demand to justify an electric vehicle plant.

"There's thousands and thousands of those jobs, that's what [Dias] should be going and pounding on the desk of GM, Detroit, about".

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Earlier in the week, unionized workers at the Oshawa assembly plant staged two work stoppages to protest their employer's decision to close the facility.

GM has said the options suggested by the union to keep the Oshawa plant open, such as extending the life of the Chevy Impala and Cadillac XTS produced at the factory or shifting production slated for Mexico to the plant, are not economically viable.

Several Windsor politicians attended the rally, including NDP MPP Lisa Gretzky.

It's not too late, Dias told a crush of reporters.

"The window is closing for you to change your decision", said Dias. "You haven't seen anything yet".

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