GM Oshawa: Lowered Expectations, Unexplored Opportunities

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1794 ... March 29, 2019
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GM Oshawa: Lowered Expectations, Unexplored Opportunities

Sam Gindin

Following an aggressive public relations campaign in which union officials questioned GM’s loyalty to ‘Canadian taxpayers’, General Motors has apparently agreed to keep its Oshawa facility partially open. No official announcement has yet been made, but there are rumours of a revised plan to retain 600-700 workers by investing $100-million to stamp the cargo beds for pick-up trucks.

There are good reasons to be skeptical about both this rumour and this plan. But even if true, before a desperate workforce reluctantly accepts that ‘some jobs, however few, are better than nothing’, more ambitious thinking should be considered.

The Oshawa facility currently supports 5,700-6,000 jobs: GM directly employs 2,200 hourly workers and some 500 salaried workers,... with other companies employing over 3,000 to supply components (some working right inside the Oshawa facility). The new proposal means cutting this total by upwards of 5,000 jobs or 85 per cent.

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