Friday, June 1, 2012

Ottawa GM plant to close with loss of up to 2,000 jobs

Chris Buckley who is president of the local CAW (Canadian Auto Workers) union said: “This is absolutely sickening,” Actually the closing has been in the works for five years. The required notice of 12 months was given by GM which will be closing the plant next June.

Although the older consolidated plant will be closing the newer nearby flex plant is expected to remain open. The plant that is closing produces the Impala and Equinox. Some Impala production will be transferred to the flex plant saving perhaps 500 jobs. But the increased production is not confirmed as yet.

The Equinox's will be built at a now closed Saturn plant in Spring Hill Tenn. GM is re-opening the plant because the UAW has agreed that the company can hire a large number of workers at wages of about 14 dollars an hour less than half what Canadian workers are paid. So the U.S. union is in effect undercutting their fellow workers in a race to the bottom after having already given up all kinds of benefits before and during the restructuring of GM.

The Canadian union has not agreed to these types of cuts. Chris Buckley noted that if the union agreed to these cuts it would soon be asked to meet the 6 dollar an hour wage of Mexican GM workers. Of course that wage would violate minimum wage laws! For much more see this CBC article or the Globe and Mail here.

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