GM Oshawa Last Day of Vehicle Production

Don’t Let it be the End of the Line for the Oshawa Plant! The last GM vehicle to be produced in Oshawa, Ontario rolled off the line on Wednesday, 18 December 2019. We are gathered to mark the almost criminal actions of General Motors Company in abandoning assembly and supplier workers and the community of … Watch video »

Don’t Let it be the End of the Line for the Oshawa Plant!

The last GM vehicle to be produced in Oshawa, Ontario rolled off the line on Wednesday, 18 December 2019.

We are gathered to mark the almost criminal actions of General Motors Company in abandoning assembly and supplier workers and the community of Oshawa after they have profited immensely from over 100 years of vehicle assembly in the historic Oshawa assembly complex.

But our message is not just anger and sadness. The 10 million square foot assembly plant and all of its equipment will be almost completely idled – but the productive capacity is still there. Thousands of highly skilled, experienced auto assembler and supplier workers are available. The need for electrification of government vehicle fleets and for expanded public transit is crying out.

The exit of General Motors should not be the end of vehicle assembly in Oshawa – it is an opportunity for governments to step in and acquire the Oshawa complex for a publicly-owned electric vehicle operation – for the future. An opportunity to provide good jobs and also confront the climate crisis by replacing government fleets with electric vehicles assembled here.

These are the facts:

  • GM took $11-billion of public money in 2009 – our governments took a loss of $3-billion on that deal. And now GM is taking our money and leaving anyway. The public has paid for the plant – we should own it.
  • Over 5,000 jobs directly related to vehicle production are being lost – GM assembly employees, supplier and service workers for other companies inside the plant and nearby. GM has promised to provide only 300 jobs by the end of 2020 in stamping parts for after-market customers.
  • GM demanded major concessions from workers and retirees as the price to keep jobs in Oshawa. They took the excess profits generated by those concessions and are leaving anyway, because they think they can make even more profits elsewhere.
  • GM demanded the outsourcing of many jobs that used to be done by GM employees to third-party companies – including skilled trades building maintenance, cleaning, sub-assembly and sequencing, seats, tires, and more. GM profited by using this outsourcing to drive down the wages and benefits of supplier workers – most of whom earn less than $20 per hour. These workers are also losing their jobs because of GM’s greed-driven actions, but GM has refused to take any responsibility for them.
  • Our feasibility study shows that a publicly-owned assembly operation in Oshawa could create 13,000 jobs, build 150,000 battery electric vehicles in 5 years, reduce CO2 emissions by 400,000 tons, break even in year 4 and make a profit by year 5.

We are inviting our political representatives, community members, workers and the labour movement, climate activists, and students to gather to show our anger at GM, and to demand that our governments stand by no longer, but take action for good, green jobs in the Oshawa complex. For more information see www.GreenJobsOshawa.ca.

Speakers:

Recorded in Oshawa, 18 December 2019.