Union rep hopeful ahead of GM's shutdown of Oshawa plant

Union rep hopeful ahead of GM's shutdown of Oshawa plant

Union rep hopeful ahead of GM's shutdown of Oshawa plant

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.

General Motors says it's going to scale back production, closing plants and cutting up to 15% of salaried jobs nationwide in a move they say will help decrease production costs and keep the company "lean" and "agile", though they stopped short of blaming Trump administration steel tariffs for an increase in production costs.

General Motors on Monday announced a major restructuring of its global business, saying it will shut production at five facilities in North America and slash its staff. GM will reduce its salaried workforce by 15%, including a quarter of the company's executives.

General Motors blamed the decision on declining sales of small and mid-sized cars and said it would focus on making more large sport-utility vehicles.

GM doesn't foresee an economic downturn and is making the cuts "to get in front of it while the company is strong and while the economy is strong," Barra told reporters. These include workers at assembly facilities in Detroit; Warren, Ohio; and Oshawa, Ontario, Canada; as well as at propulsion plants in White Marsh, Maryland; and Warren, Michigan.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was "deeply disappointed" by the decision to shut the Oshawa, Ontario plant. GM had been expected to close plants because of struggling sales.

Trump, who promised repeatedly during his 2016 election campaign to revitalise job creation in the U.S. industrial heartland and promote domestic automaking, only mentioned the closure of the plant in OH, one of the key states on the USA electoral map and one that helped ensure his victory in 2016. In Detroit, it plans to halt production of the Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Volt in March and the Cadillac CT6 and Chevrolet Impala in June.

Ford said he'll work with the federal government to provide supports for any auto workers who lose their jobs, in part by extending unemployment benefits.

GM points to a change in customer preference that prompted this move to operate fewer plants next year.

In a tweet about MI in August he said: "Lots of vehicle and other companies moving back!"

Federal and provincial politicians also weighed in on the reported closure, expressing concern for the thousands of high-paying jobs at the Oshawa plant - as well as the potential trickle-down effect a closure could have. The UAW's large-scale contract with GM expires next year and negotiations will begin soon. The raft of changes announced on Monday will not impact GM's new fullsize trucks and SUVs, which are "doing very well in the marketplace", Barra told reporters.

In a statement, Governor John Kasich said the news was "frustrating" but said he would work with GM to try to preserve the plant. Some U.S. factory workers could transfer to truck or SUV factories that are increasing production.

GM also said it will close two plants outside North America by the end of 2019. "I said, 'Well, get a vehicle that is selling well and put it back in.' I think you'll see something else happen there". Production began on November 7, 1953, and in the 1980s the plant employed roughly 23,000 people.

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