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


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


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


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


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


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



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.

This year marks the 70th anniversary that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


This year marks the 70th anniversary that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Human Rights Day commemorates the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document that states that human rights are not the preserve of any one nation, race, or gender but that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

Unifor is committed to advocating, defending and furthering human rights for all. The union’s social justice fund is one of many ways in which Unifor provides solidarity to defenders of human rights. The union’s social justice fund engages in this vital work in Canada and across the globe. The fund promotes and supports the role of trade unions and workers groups in their efforts to strengthen democracy, promote equitable development, and contribute to poverty reduction, social justice and education reform.

The union’s Human Rights Department has been actively promoting human rights campaigns in workplaces, the local unions and communities. Most recently, Unifor conducted an equity audit over nine months during 2016 and 2017 and included semi-structured interviews with 470 local unions across the country, and asked questions about the diversity of local membership, the executive committee, stewards, and bargaining committees.

While the union is aware that representation gaps exist, the purpose of the audit was to understand the specific barriers better to overcome our collective challenges. The union is currently implementing the recommendations made from the national equity audit report. Members are encouraged to read the full equity audit report and learn more about Unifor’s findings and action plan.

Attaining human rights for all will not come easy. But if we actively incorporate promoting human rights in our daily lives, it can be attainable. Members can become active human rights defenders by:

  1. Ensure your local union participates in Unifor Human Rights training.
  2. On December 10, use Unifor’s social media shareable to highlight the union’s human rights work.
  3. Read the full Unifor equity audit report and promote the report to your members.

International Human Rights Day is a reminder that inequity, intolerance, discrimination, exclusion, and hatred threaten us all. It is a reminder of our shared humanity and of the necessity of standing up not just for ourselves, but for those most in need. Wherever they are challenged, it is our responsibility to offer a collective response.

Unifor statement on Oshawa GM plant


OSHAWA – Unifor received notification today from General Motors that the company will make a major announcement tomorrow that will impact its global operations.

While the union does not have complete details of the overall announcement we have been informed that, as of now, there is no product allocated to the Oshawa Assembly Plant past December 2019.

Based on commitments made during 2016 contract negotiations, Unifor does not accept this announcement and is immediately calling on GM to live up to the spirit of that agreement.

Unifor is scheduled to hold a discussion with General Motors tomorrow and will provide further comment following the meeting.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org  or 416-896-3303 (cell).


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‘They are not closing our damn plant’: Union vows fight as GM plans Oshawa closing


he union representing thousands of autoworkers is vowing to fight back against the General Motors plan to close an Oshawa, Ont., plant in 2019 as part of a global restructuring.

It’s not clear how many of the 2,500 employees at the Oshawa assembly facility will lose their jobs under the sweeping strategy, which GM says aims to lower carbon emissions and prepare for a future of electric and autonomous vehicles.

Workers at the plant walked off the job Monday morning in protest.

Jerry Dias, national president of Unifor, blasted GM’s move, which he says violates its agreement with workers. He praised those who work at the plant, which is about 60 kilometres east of Toronto.

“You’re the No. 1 plant that [GM’s] got,” he told the crowd.

“They are not closing our damn plant without one hell of a fight.”

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‘Sick and tired of being pushed around’: Union responds to GM plan to close Oshawa plant


TORONTO – The union representing workers at the General Motors assembly plant in Oshawa, Ont., are promising “one hell of a fight” after the automaker announced it would close the location along with four other facilities in the U.S.

Jerry Dias, national president of Unifor, said the union will fight against the planned move “tooth and nail.”

“They are not closing our damn plant without one hell of a fight.” Dias said to cheers from union members.

VIDEO: Ontario Premier Doug Ford blasts what he calls the “devastating” decision by General Motors to cease production at their Oshawa plant

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Dear members,

Unifor’s commitment to social and economic justice doesn’t stop at Canada’s borders. We are a union that fights injustice globally.

One of our international fights is being led by Unifor members working at Coca Cola’s bottling facilities in Alberta and Ontario. Unifor has signed on to the International Union of Foodworkers’ (IUF) campaign to hold Coke responsible for the human rights abuses of the third-party bottlers it employs in countries like Indonesia, Haiti, and the Philippines.

We can make a difference in these workers’ lives by showing solidarity and giving them our support.

I encourage you to participate in a Unifor day of action to insist the company respect workers’ rights and immediately remedy abuses by its third-party bottlers.

On Tuesday, November 20, you can take the following three actions:
1. Download the Unifor mobile app for Apple or Android and under Solidarity Action, send a message to Coca Cola CEO James Quincey
2. Take a photo holding a sign with the hashtag #CokeZeroRights and post to Twitter
3. Share the attached graphic on your Facebook page with this link: http://www.iuf.org/show-ccww.php

Together we can force Coca Cola to recognize workers’ rights. I look forward to seeing your activism on November 20.

In solidarity,
Jerry Dias
National President

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