VIDEO: Union Leaders in Oshawa Disgusted with General Motors

Union leaders are expressing anger over a decision by General Motors to move forward with plans to close the assembly plant in Oshawa.

Unifor Local 222 President, Colin James says he's totally devastated, disappointed and disgusted with the General Motors decision.

"They chose to stick with their decision in the name of corporate greed," says James. "Canadian taxpayers, GM retirees and the Canadian tax payers bailed the auto company out and the decision will devastate the whole community."

Company officials met with Unifor president Jerry Dias and others in Detroit on Tuesday and instead of saying it would keep the plant open, instead, the automaker said it is ready to work with the union on support and transition packages for workers.

Oshawa Plant Chairperson Greg Moffat, says the workers need to keep their heads held high.

"We need to be stronger today than we were yesterday and if we stick together we will get through this," says Moffat. "I can tell you one thing, General Motors has not only turned its back on the city, on a plant, but on Canadian taxpayers."

Approximately 2,500 people will be out of work when the Oshawa plant closes later this year.

"What I witnessed, was the utmost arrogance I've ever seen in my life," says Moffat. "They {GM} are turning their backs on an award-winning facility that's been in our province for 100 years."

A demonstration is planned for Friday at 11am at Windsor's Dieppe Gardens. Unifor National President Dias is scheduled to speak at the event that will see members bussed in from all over the region, including Oshawa.

According to GM officials, they have been contacted by more than 20 large employers across Durham Region and the GTA interested in hiring GM workers for up to 5,000 positions they plan to fill over the next two years.

 

 

 

— With files from AM800's Peter Langille