UAW calls for GM boycottClick image to enlarge

The United Auto Workers has joined autoworkers’ union Unifor in calling on General Motors to keep North American plants running.

The UAW has issued a call to consumers to boycott GM cars made in Mexico, and instead buy vehicles built in the U.S. or Canada. In a 2½ minute YouTube video it released as part of its #GMinvestinUS social media campaign, the U.S. union reminds consumers that their tax dollars helped bail GM out of bankruptcy in 2010 and says it’s time for GM to return the favour to U.S. workers.

The UAW call comes as a response to GM’s announcement in November that it was planning to shut down five plants in Canada and the United States, jeopardizing about 6000 jobs, reports the Detroit Free Press. It also mirrors a similar boycott call by Unifor, which represents Canadian auto workers.

For its part, Unifor paid for a 33 second ad to run during Sunday’s Super Bowl broadcast and on social media, titled “GM Leaves Canadians Out in the Cold.” GM demanded that Unifor withdraw the ad, saying it contained “several misleading statements” including false statements about the 2009 federal and provincial auto bailout, and that no Canadian jobs are going to Mexico. GM also emphasized the tightly interconnected nature of the North American automotive supply chain.

“GM Canada only imports three models from Mexico out of 47 we sell in Canada,” the company stated. “Unifor’s proposed boycott attacks their own members in Ontario who make parts for Mexico at GM Canada and over 60 Canada based suppliers.”

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