GM to Provide Financial Support to Fired Union Workers on GM Canada Oshawa Assembly Plant

GM Canada says it has been contacted by a variety of individual employers with job opportunities.

General Motors Canada says it is committed to providing financial support to assist its employees with retraining and other assistance that could help them be prepared for more than 2,400 new jobs estimated to be open in the Durham Region area in 2019 and 2020. Today GM employs about 4,000 people in Oshawa. It said a total of 2,973 jobs will be affected by the Dec. 2019 Oshawa Assembly wind down, including 2,522 who work at the plant itself.

GM’s November announcement impacts 2,600 hourly workers and approximately 340 salaried or contract workers at the Oshawa Assembly Plant once a crown jewel in the GM collection for its productivity, flexibility and quality. GM Canada will continue to discuss its announcements regarding Oshawa Assembly with Unifor, the union it has a no close contract with in force until the end of 2019. (General Motors Revises 2015 Strategy to Slash Costs and Streamline Engineering as Market and Competition Toughen, Unifor Blasts GM Canada Closings, Unifor Reaches Deal with GM Canada. Strike Avoided)

“My priority is to have a transition plan for every Oshawa Assembly employee,” said GM Canada president and managing director, Travis Hester. “We will work with our community colleges, universities, the government and all interested local employers, to make this happen and we are committing millions of dollars from GM Canada to support this effort.”

GM Canada says it has been contacted by a variety of individual employers with job opportunities for its highly-skilled workers at Oshawa Assembly. Job fairs and targeted training programs are being prepared by a coalition of local partners to help auto workers transition to their next job. More details of specific support from GM Canada and others will be forthcoming.

Since the General Motors Accelerated Transformation announcement on 26 November, GM Canada and its community partners have identified:

  • 300 open jobs for auto technicians at GM dealerships in Ontario;
  • 100 jobs that will be open at GM’s other facilities in Ontario;
  • 2,000 jobs in energy and other industries in Durham.

The first local initiative is a one-stop, confidential portal that will be launched in the new year by Durham College to help auto workers identify job openings, learn about new careers and begin training plans.

This will be followed by other on-line tools to assist auto workers.

“Durham Region employers know what we know,” said Travis Hester. “Oshawa Assembly workers set the standard for excellence in quality, productivity and innovative practices. They will continue to be a backbone of this community as our economy and our industry transformation.”

More than 50% of Oshawa Assembly permanent hourly workers now qualify for a meager GM Canada defined benefit pension, providing them a choice to retire.

GM announced its global Accelerated Transformation program on November 26. It has several restructuring actions in the United States, Canada and globally.  GM Canada also operates the CAMI Assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, the St. Catharines Engine and Transmission plant and a growing series of Canadian Technical Centers developing new automotive technologies of the future.

General Motors Canada

General Motors of Canada Company markets Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles through Canada’s largest dealer network, as well as OnStar and MAVEN services. Headquartered in Oshawa, Ontario, GM Canada employs more than 7,700 people across the country and is a self-proclaimed leader in advanced manufacturing, green operations, active safety, and autonomous and connected vehicle technology research and development. More information on the company can be found at and by following @GMcanada on Twitter.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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