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GM to close Oshawa line, CAW lay off 2,000 workers this time.


GM job cuts hint at further economic troubles

CTV.ca News Staff
Date: Thu. Aug. 30 2007 11:19 PM ET
General Motors of Canada Ltd. is slashing 1,200 jobs this January at a truck plant in Oshawa, Ont. Analysts say it’s proof that problems with the U.S. economy are travelling north across the border.
“We’re not immune. Canada has its place in the global economy,” Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Thursday.
Liberal finance critic John McCallum said the job cuts do not bode well for working Canadians across the country.
General Motors Corp. will trim about 3,600 North American staff, including 500 in Canada, as the auto giant grapples with a major third-quarter loss, which it released Friday.
The auto giant said the layoffs will come early next year as GM reports a net loss of US$2.5 billion this quarter, which were blamed on shifting market trends and a struggling global economy.
The numbers were seen as “reflecting rapidly deteriorating market conditions in the U.S., slowdowns in other mature markets around the world, and continued losses at GMAC Financial Services,” GM said.
Jordan McLean attaches exhaust shields to a Camaro at the GM factory in Oshawa. The facility is not slated to be closed next year. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press )
The Canadian Auto Workers union says General Motors is going ahead with plans to close its consolidated plant in Oshawa, Ont.
The union says it’s been told the facility — the older part of the Oshawa car plant — will close by June 2013 and says that could mean 2,000 layoffs.
President of CAW Local 222 president Chris Buckley says GM gave the union notice today.
The plant produces the Chevrolet Impala and the Equinox. It was originally slated to be closed in 2008 before a series of extensions due to the popularity of those vehicles squeezed more years of life out of it.
GM also has a flex assembly plant in Oshawa that is getting a share of the production of the new Chevy Impala. That flex line currently employs 2,000 people and currently makes the Chevy Camaro, Buick Regal and soon, the Cadillac XTS. If Impala production moved there, it could add another 500 jobs, Buckley said.
The Impala will also be built at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant in Michigan. “What we find extremely troubling is as of today GM will still not tell us how many Impalas will be produced in Oshawa,” Buckley said.
Starting in the fourth quarter of this year, GM’s third shift at the consolidated plant will be removed, followed by an elimination of the second shift in the first quarter of next year. By June 2013, production will completely stop.
Gradual slowdown GM is scaling back its overall operations in Canada as part of a North American restructuring begun two years ago under bankruptcy court protection. Part of that process was an $8-billion cash injection from the governments of Ontario and Ottawa for ownership stakes in the new GM, something the union was eager to discuss on Friday.
Buckley pressed governments to pressure the company to reconsider, and ask what the taxpayers had gotten for their investment.
Liberal MP John McKay wants Ottawa to review the terms of GM’s original loan. “They haven’t actually paid back the loan at this point,” he said. “They have declared dividends, they have sold off shares and … the poor taxpayers of Ontario and Canada are left holding the bag.”
The streamlining as GM underwent bankruptcy proceedings cost tens of thousands of jobs at the company’s Canadian and U.S. operations and the shutdown of several plants.
“Our members have done everything GM has asked us to do for quite some time all in the eyes of having jobs in the future,” Buckley said. “What more can we do to ensure we have a future?”>>>MORE<<< 
thank you John

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