GM, union reach agreement to convert Oshawa plant into manufacturing, testing facility

UPDATE: GM to transform Oshawa plant into stamping operation

The $170 million will be used to transition the facility from manufacturing vehicles to stamping, sub-assembly and autonomous vehicle testing. "The answer is yes - but what I do know is you play the cards you're dealt, and you make the best out of a bad situation".

This, Unifor said, will retain 300 jobs in the city, with the potential to grow in years to come.

"This transformation plan is very significant as it positions Oshawa for a sustainable future", said GM Canada president and managing director Travis Hester.

GM announced in November that it would halt production at its Oshawa, Ont. plant and four other North American factories, cutting thousands of jobs as part of a global restructuring plan and an increased focus on electric vehicles.

"So what GM is doing here today is they are making a long-term commitment to Oshawa cause with every vehicle that we start to perform the aftermarket work, it's a 10-year commitment", Dias said. There will be more next year.

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Hester says 50 per cent of GM employees and Unifor members will likely take retirement packages. The company will offer special relocations to Oshawa employees for jobs at some of its other Ontario facilities. "Today, GM has committed to providing work for hundreds of them at the plant and to supporting the others, and we want to see it through", the statement reads.

Ontario's Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Todd Smith issued a statement on behalf of the Ford government soon after Wednesday's announcement. A "Job Action Centre" will be established in June to help people find jobs outside of GM once the plant closes in December 2019; the centre is jointly supported by GM, Unifor and the Ontario government.

"We also expect to bring more jobs to the USA over time in support of the expected provisions of the USMCA".

"We are glad this historic site will continue to be a hub for vehicle parts manufacturing, technological innovation and regional economic growth", Smith said in a statement.

The union head also had words of praise for the federal government.

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