Thursday , October 28 2021

GM Canada responds to the Unifor boycott threat


Save Oshawa GM. January 7, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Unifor Canada)

GM Canada has responded to Unifor's latest communication about the future of its Oshawa plant.

The automaker issued a statement on its official website on Saturday, and discussed some of the claims made by Unifor, which threatened Friday to initiate a boycott of transgenic vehicles manufactured in Mexico. The boycott does not include vehicles made by GM in Canada or the US.

Unifor's national president Jerry Dias said in a telephone conference with journalists that the union will launch an aggressive advertising campaign on both sides of the international border. Addressed to the "VIN-3" campaign, Dias urges consumers not to accept the delivery of a GM vehicle whose VIN number begins with a 3, which means that it is produced in Mexico.

Dias admitted on Friday that, initially, he was reluctant to boycott GM because the union has members in other plants in southwestern Ontario.

"We have hired an election group," said Dias. "We were told that 45 percent of Canadians would absolutely support a direct boycott. Another 26 percent said they would seriously consider boycotting genetically modified products."

In his response, published through his official corporate website and his Twitter account, GM Canada says the campaign is hurried and full of incorrect information, and insists that no Canadian work is directed to Mexico .

"GM Canada only imports three models from Mexico from the 47 that we sell to Canada," the statement said. "The boycott proposed by Unifor attacks its own members in Ontario that make parts for Mexico to GM Canada and more than 60 suppliers based in Canada."

GM also noted that they will still be present at Oshawa after the start-up of the assembly plant in late 2019, with its Canadian headquarters. GM also builds vehicles at the CAMI plant in Ingersoll, along with transmissions and motors to St. Catharines. More than 5,000 people are used by GM Canada.

The automaker of Detroit announced last month that they closed down the Oshawa plant due to global restructuring, along with changes in consumer tastes in North America, which include profitable pickup trucks and the SUVs. Four plants based in the United States will also be closed. The news has generated indignation among car companies on both sides of the border. There were demonstrations of solidarity throughout Canada, along with protests at the American Automobile Exhibition in Detroit.

GM Canada says they are fully committed to helping Oshawa automobile operators affected by the closure to retreat, find work at other facilities or go back to work for another race, and that they are not " 39; they will stop until you have all the operators on the network.

– With files by Adelle Loiselle

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