WATCH: GM to respond to pitch to save Oshawa plant this week
It's something of a Hail Mary.
Representatives of 2,700 General Motors employees in Oshawa could learn as early Monday if the company will catch it.
Just before Christmas, Unifor sat down with the automaker in Detroit and laid out options to keep the GM plant in Oshawa. It is scheduled to close at the end of the year with production is set to shift to other plants, including in Mexico. Union president Jerry Dias says the options to stay in Oshawa included keeping work on existing product lines or adding new ones.
Dias is waiting on a call from GM to set the agenda for a meeting with the company Tuesday, maybe Wednesday. On Friday, GM will update investors and analysts on its future plans.
"I think they're going to change course," Dias told NEWSTALK 1010's Moore in the Morning Monday.
In the days after GM's pull-out plan was made public, Premier Doug blasted Dias and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for grandstanding.
"They're busy picking fights and raising false hope. But in private they know the GM plant is not coming back," Ford said.
But Dias feels good about a reversal, believing GM underestimated the pushback to the potential elimination of 14,000 direct and indirect jobs in Ontario and another 10,000 across the country.
"They're getting a heck of a lot more than they bargained for. I believe that Canadians are furious, that's clear" Dias said.
Dias points to sagging GM sales in Canada last month as evidence of that true north rage.
General Motors sold nearly 6,000 fewer vehicles in December 2018 than it did the previous year. GM has not offered its rationale for the dip though sales for some of their brands were uncharacteristically strong in December 2017. GM is planning to re-tune its lineup to focus on self-driving and electric vehicles.
Dias appears to see the drop in sales as a potential foot-hold for the union.
"They didn't anticipate the backlash and now they're taking a look at how they alter course."
Unifor debuted a new ad during Sunday's Golden Globes that is says focuses on General Motors' "corporate greed". The 30-second commercial is airing on Canadian TV stations and a local station in Detroit.
The union is planning a solidarity rally in Windsor Friday morning on the bank of the Detroit River immediately opposite GM headquarters. The timing will coincide with the automakers' show-and-tell with investors.