GM and Unifor reach Oshawa agreementClick image to enlarge

GM Canada and Unifor, the union representing workers at GM’s Oshawa assembly plant, have reached an agreement to transition the plant’s vehicle assembly operations to parts manufacturing and advanced vehicle testing.

GM Canada outlined the terms of the arrangement:

  • It plans to invest more than $170 million to transition operations from vehicle assembly to stamping, related sub-assembly and other activities for GM and other auto industry customers. It is going to convert part of the property into a test track for autonomous and advanced technology vehicles.
  • The new business is expected to retain 300 Oshawa jobs with the potential to add more in the coming years.
  • GM Canada will offer relocations to Oshawa employees for jobs at some of its other Ontario operations. It will also offer enhanced retirement packages to retirement-eligible Oshawa Assembly employees including vouchers toward the purchase of new GM vehicles, a benefit that GM says “will support both retiring employees and GM dealerships in Durham Region and surrounding areas.”
  • For other GM Oshawa Assembly employees, GM will open a "Jobs Action Centre" in June in Oshawa to help employees find work when vehicle production in Oshawa ends at the end of the year. Supported by GM, Unifor and the Ontario government, the centre will help employees match their skills with new employers' requirements.
  • GM will offer retraining financial support for all qualified Oshawa Assembly hourly employees seeking new employment.
  • The company is going to donate two on-site parks to the City of Oshawa.

Last November, GM announced it would be ending vehicle assembly at the Oshawa plant effective December of this year. Although Oshawa was no longer the automaker’s largest operation in Canada – it employed about 4000 people there when the closure was announced, well down from its 1980s peak of 23,000 – the company had been there for a century and the plant was viewed as a symbol of Canada’s automotive industry.

Read the full GM Canada announcement here.

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