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‘Losing is not an option’: Unifor’s fight against GM is a battle for its future

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Canada’s largest private-sector union is in a high-stakes showdown with GM over Oshawa, Ont., plant closure. Jerry Dias is fed up.

At labour rallies, news conferences and anywhere people might listen, the head of Unifor has for more than two months been expressing a deep frustration about how General Motors has broken one promise too many with its plan to close its Oshawa Assembly Plant.

 

 

 

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Unifor workers in Whitby walk off job in campaign to save GM Oshawa plant

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WHITBY, Ont. – Unifor says workers at an autoparts supplier in Whitby, Ont. have walked off the job in solidarity with the union’s campaign to save the General Motors assembly plant in Oshawa, Ont.

The union says employees at the Lear Corp. operation, which supplies seats to the GM Oshawa plant, started demonstrating early Friday morning.

It says the 350 workers at the Lear plant face probable job losses if GM goes ahead with its planned closure of the Oshawa plant by the end of the year.

 

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GM CEO invited to speak before federal committee

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The CEO of General Motors will be invited to Ottawa to explain the company’s decision to close its plant in Oshawa.

Windsor West MP Brian Masse, who is the New Democratic Party’s industry and auto critic, introduced a motion at the federal government’s Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology.

“This is an important step so that the committee members ask the questions that are on the minds of Canadian GM workers who will lose their jobs with the Oshawa plant closure,” said Masse. “The Canadian automotive and manufacturing industry took a disproportionate hit compared to the U.S. We need an explanation from GM about the future of Canadian workers and the industry.”

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Unifor urging Canadians to boycott GM vehicles made in Mexico

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The union representing General Motors workers in Oshawa, Ont., is urging Canadians to boycott purchasing vehicles made in Mexico.

“It is an announcement that we have done everything possible to avoid making,” Unifor national president Jerry Dias said during a news conference in Toronto Friday morning.

“We are announcing we are launching a major campaign urging Canadians and American consumers not to buy GM vehicles that are shipping from Mexico. This is over 600,000 vehicles a year that are shipping from Mexico to Canada and the United States.”

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Autoworkers rally at Oshawa GM headquarters to protest assembly plant closure

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Autoworkers are rallying outside General Motors Canada headquarters in Oshawa on Wednesday to protest the impending assembly plant closure.

“Workers in Canada will not forgive GM if it continues with the plan to close the Oshawa Assembly Plant and decimate the wider community,” Jerry Dias, Unifor national president, said in a media release.

“For more than 100 years this Oshawa has built and supported General Motors. Today’s actions by Unifor members send the message that GM must reverse the decision to close the plant.”

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Unifor looks forward to fighting GM Oshawa closure with province and feds

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The future of the General Motors Oshawa assembly plant is in talks again on the first day of the 2019 North American International Auto Show.

Unifor National President Jerry Dias has met with Ontario Premier Doug Ford and federal minister of innovation, science and economic development, Navdeep Bains, about GM.

“It appears as if people are starting to take a different tack,” said Dias after his meetings.

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Study verifies economic shock of potential General Motors Oshawa closure

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TORONTO –A new independent study verifies a closure of the General Motors (GM) Oshawa Assembly Plant would create an economic shock, resulting in 24,000 lost jobs and a loss of $1 billion per year in government revenue.

“We’re looking at tens of thousands of jobs and a direct hit to the GDP,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “Should GM proceed with plans to close Oshawa, the economic impact would be substantial, both in the short and long term.”

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Unifor welcomed 4,500 new members in 2018

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Almost 4,500 workers across Canada and across the Canadian economy joined Unifor in 2018.

“It was another great year for Unifor’s Organizing Department in 2018,” Organizing Director Kellie Scanlan said.

Unifor’s Organizing department welcomed a wide range workers to the labour movement throughout the year, from hotel workers to manufacturing workers to warehouse workers to school bus drivers, and more, including:

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Unifor waiting to hear fate of Oshawa plant

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The union representing General Motors workers in Oshawa is expecting to hear whether or not GM will work with them to keep the Oshawa plant open.

Unifor president Jerry Dias met with GM in December and he has another face-to-face meeting scheduled to take place in Detroit Tuesday afternoon.

There will be a media availability in Windsor following the meeting.

The union is contesting the planned closure of the plant, which would also see production moved to Mexico.

A union petition has gathered more than 31,000 signatures.

What GM says Tuesday will set the tone for a rally planned for Friday in Windsor, directly across the river from GM headquarters in Detroit.

The rally is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at Windsor’s Dieppe Gardens.

A message from Jerry Dias

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To all Unifor members and staff,
Today Unifor officially launched its #SaveOshawaGM campaign with a nationwide call to support autoworkers and to keep good jobs in Canada.
Despite earning $6 billion U.S. in profits so far this year, General Motors announced that it plans to end production at the Oshawa Assembly Plant after 2019. Unifor represents 2,600 workers at Oshawa GM and 2,700 more at auto parts suppliers that service the plant. It is estimated that every direct job in auto assembly creates seven other jobs, meaning thousands of additional jobs would be lost in the wider economy.

A message from Ontario Regional Director

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Members,

We have had an unbelievable year in Ontario. On behalf of the entire Ontario Regional Council executive and committees, we want to extend our thanks to every single member in this province.

This year, you knocked on thousands of doors in the provincial election, and had many more workplace and community events.

You, Unifor members, organized against the right wing, and for women’s rights and equity.

Together, we faced down union-busting employers in Thunder Bay and Goderich. And we keep up the fight to defend Unifor jobs across the province.

This spirit of activism and renewal was present at the recent Ontario Regional Council, held in Toronto, from November 30-December 1.

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