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GM Canada, Unifor Announce Deal, Oshawa Plant Will Survive

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Today General Motors Canada and the Unifor trade union representing automotive workers announced an agreement that will see GM’s Oshawa assembly plant adapted to handle parts manufacturing and vehicle testing.

The deal means some 300 jobs will be saved at the plant, according to General Motors Canada. The company also says the switch will mean new jobs could be added in the coming years.

The agreement calls for an investment of $170 million to refit the plant from vehicle manufacturing to stamping and other sub-assembly of components. It also makes mention of assorted other activities for GM and other industry players that will take place there.

GM will also create at the facility a testing track, with a focus on autonomous vehicles and advanced technologies. Operations should be linked in this domain to GM’s Canadian Technical Centre (CTC) already active in Ontario.

General Motors says it is committed to relocating current Oshawa plant employees as needed and desired, as well as retirement packages to those eligible workers who want it.

Vehicle production at the Oshawa will thus come to an end in December 2019.

“This transformation plan is very significant as it positions Oshawa for a sustainable future. This agreement maximizes the support for our people and their families, and further secures Oshawa as a key in developing vehicles of the future at our new test track.”

- Travis Hester, GM Canada president and managing director

For its part, Unifor had this to say:

“By maintaining a footprint in Oshawa, and keeping the plant intact, we save hundreds of jobs and this gives us the ability to build and create new jobs in the future. We are in a much better position than we were five months ago when the plant was closing.”

- Jerry Dias, Unifor National President