GM to Close Oshawa Plant

General Motors announces the closure of three plants as part of restructuring

By: Laura Steiner

General Motors (GM) is closing their Assembly plant in Oshawa Ontario effective in 2019.  Word of the announcement leaked out late Sunday evening, with the company confirming it in a news release this morning.

The release calls the move part of its plan to work towards a vision of “zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion.  “The actions we are taking today continue our transformation to be highly agile, resilient and profitable, while giving us the flexibility to invest in the future,” CEO and Chairman Mary Barra said.  Plants in Detroit Michigan, and Warren, Ohio are also scheduled to close.

The closure in Oshawa will eliminate 2500 jobs.  Ontario Premier Doug Ford has promised to support the workers.  “Our government has already begun exploring measures to help impacted workers, and businesses cope with the aftermath of this decision,” Ford said in a statement.  The province has asked Employment Ontario to deploy a rapid Re-Employment and Training team to the area.

Additionally, Ford has asked the federal government to immediately extend Employment Insurance (EI) eligibility to the affected workers so they can fully access it.  Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains recognizes the company’s efforts to develop the zero emission strategy. “I recognize this will not do very much to alleviate the pain for the people of Oshawa whose lives were turned upside down today by this terrible news,” he said. The federal, and Ontario governments loaned General Motors $13.7 billion in 2009.  The Ontario government sold its shares earlier this year.

Karmax in Milton Ontario is a manufacturer supplying parts to several automakers including GM.  The response from parent company Magna is that it’s too early to tell the impact of GM’s closure on their parts business.