Toronto, Ontario — Sept. 24, 2019 — The UAW strike against GM continues to affect both American and Canadian workers, with approximately 5,000 employees across Canada joining their American counterparts.
Roughly half of GM Canada’s 5,882 hourly employees have been temporarily laid off after a correct prediction from Unifor, a union group representing GM Canada workers. The Oshawa location took the brunt of the blow, temporarily losing 2,200 workers and leaving just 100 to remain, completely stopping the plant’s vehicle assembly lines.
About two-thirds of workers from the St. Catherines location, which focuses on the construction of engines for U.S. vehicles, have also been laid off for the time being. David Paterson, vice president of corporate affairs at GM Canada said the St. Catherines location will still be constructing transmissions.
A prediction that has been fortunately incorrect is that of GM Canada’s Ingersoll plant. It estimated that ripples from the American strike would force it to halt all operations last week, yet it is currently running at full capacity, retaining all 2,400 workers to construct the Chevrolet Equinox. There is a scheduled week-long pause of production starting Monday, but the plant is set to continue post-break.
UAW returned to talks yesterday morning, repeating its issues with employee wages, benefits and overall job security. The strike has now entered its ninth day, lasting almost five times as long as the groups only other strike back in 2007.