GM plant in Oshawa, Ont., to shut down

General Motors workers left the plant in Oshawa Ontario

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday expressed his "deep disappointment" in General Motors' decision to close its Oshawa plant, a move Canadian officials only learned about on Sunday and which led workers to walk off the job on Monday. The automaker intends to close the plant in December, 2019.

"Extremely concerned about reports regarding potential closure of GM Canada Oshawa operations", Durham MP Erin O'Toole tweeted Sunday night.

She said the industry is changing rapidly and moving toward electric propulsion, autonomous vehicles and ride-sharing, and GM must adjust with it.

On top of the previously announced closure of the assembly plant in Gunsan, Korea, GM will also cease the operations of two additional plants outside North America by the end of next year.

It's unclear how many employees will lose their jobs, since this is part of a larger global restructuring plan, the sources said.

Meanwhile, GM's plant in Oshawa, Ontario, will stop making the Impala, Cadillac XTS and 2018 full-size pickups in the fourth quarter of next year. Four other facilities are falling under the ax. The union that represents its Canadian workers said in a statement that GM's expected decision does not "live up to the spirit" of certain commitments the company made to union members during 2016 contract negotiations. He said Canadians should expect to see a "very aggressive" campaign against the closure launch soon.

The Oshawa plant, located just outside of Toronto, was built in 1953.

Republican Senator Rob Portman told GM chief executive Mary Barra on Monday that the company should bring a new product to the plant and he also urged GM "to at least reallocate some of the production and employees to the Toledo GM plant".

"We need to make sure that we are well positioned to compete, not just over the next few years, but well beyond", she said. Everyone would return to work on Tuesday, the union said. In part thanks to the impact of the Trump administration's steel tariffs, GM has been trying to get thousands of North American workers to accept buyouts.

"They're gone; they're done". As a first step, I will be authorizing Employment Ontario to deploy its Rapid Re-Employment and Training Services program to provide impacted local workers with targeted local training and jobs services to help them regain employment as quickly as possible.

GM was swept up in the financial crisis of 2008-09, and received bailout loans worth US$60-billion from the governments of Canada, Ontario and the United States.

Oshawa has been a car-manufacturing hub since 1907, and is the headquarters of GM Canada.

GM's shares in NY jumped as high as 7.8 per cent to US$38.75.

GM has offered buyouts to 18,000 retirement-eligible workers with a dozen or more years of service.

GM, the largest automaker in the USA, which sells the Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC brands, said the moves will save $6 billion in cash by the end of next year, including $4.5 billion in recurring annual cost reductions and a $1.5 billion reduction in capital spending.

Too many of GM's factories are operating on a single shift to build models that have fallen out of favor, leading its plants to run about 1 million vehicles short of their full capacity, said Kristin Dziczek, vice president of industry, labor and economics for the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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