Workers at GM's Oshawa Assembly Plant hold work stoppage over closure

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Workers at the General Motors Oshawa, Ontario plant staged another temporary sit down strike inside the plant Wednesday morning.

"Should GM proceed with plans to close Oshawa, the economic impact would be substantial, both in the short and long term".

'Deeply disappointed.' Unifor national president Jerry Dias speaks to the media at the Unifor Local 444/200 Hall in Windsor on January 8, 2019, following a meeting with General Motors executives in Detroit to discuss the future of GM's Oshawa Assembly Plant.

"We are not backing down... we're not going anywhere", he said.

Those would include 4,400 jobs at GM Oshawa and its parts suppliers in Ontario that would be lost in 2020 as well as lost direct and indirect opportunities from keeping the assembly plant open for an additional five years.

Speaking in Windsor, Ont. on Tuesday afternoon, Dias said he was "deeply disappointed" by GM's decision to close the Oshawa facility, calling it an example of "corporate greed".

Dias said he's not accepting the end of the Oshawa plant and that the company acknowledged in the meeting it would be possible to extend current production at the plant.

"Canadians are furious today and frankly so am I", added Dias.

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The president of the union representing Canadian autoworkers says his members don't have the same government support that American autoworkers enjoy in their efforts to convince General Motors to keep plants from shutting down. "And yet Oshawa has grown and people live there and they all have jobs".

David Paterson, vice president of corporate affairs at GM Canada, said the union should instead work with the company on timing and transition plans for the workers who are losing their jobs.

It was also unclear if any work stoppages would coincide with a Unifor rally in Windsor, Ontario on Friday.

Colin James, president of Unifor Local 222 in Oshawa, speaks to the media with Unifor national leader Jerry Dias on Tuesday at the Unifor Local 444/200 hall following their meeting with General Motors executives in Detroit.

GM has been in Oshawa for 109 years.

GM officials have said the fate of the US plants is subject to talks with the United Auto Workers union, which represents the USA workers at those plants.

Dias says the fight to keep the plant open is not over, and the union may explore legal avenues related to contract agreements with the company.

Retraining, and finding new jobs for workers, "makes me feel optimistic that we're going to manage these adjustments reasonably well".