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

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A sign stands outside Oshawa's General Motors auto assembly plant in Oshawa, Ont. GM Canada said it will slow production and temporarily lay off employees at the factory as switches over to truck from vehicle production to address shifting US buyer preferences.

Both U.S. vehicle assembly plants scheduled to stop production next year now build slow-selling passenger cars.

General Motors Co said on Monday it will cut production of slow-selling models and slash its North American workforce in the face of a stagnant market for traditional gas-powered sedans, shifting more investment to electric and autonomous vehicles. Ohio Gov. John Kasich called it "painful to see this happen to the plant's workers", noting the plant had been working with GM for more than 50 years.

GM now builds just one vehicle in China that it exports to the United States - the Buick Envision.

The United Auto Workers union said it would fight GM's decision to close the plants. Also affected are transmission factories in Warren, Michigan, as well as Baltimore.

"The first thing I said to (the president of GM) 'is there anything we can do as a province, absolutely anything, ' and the answer was no, there's nothing". The company also plans to stop building several models now assembled at those plants, including the Chevrolet Cruze, the Cadillac CT6 and the Buick LaCrosse.

What's more, the Cruze plant just outside Youngtown is in a Democratic and labor stronghold, where Trump won over a surprising number of voters two years ago by reaching out to what he called America's "forgotten men and women".

Meanwhile, GM's plant in Oshawa, Ontario, will stop making the Impala, Cadillac XTS and 2018 full-size pickups in the fourth quarter of next year. Some workers at the Oshawa plant walked off the job Monday. Further measures to achieve this goal include a reduction of salaried workforce and the reorganization of the company's global product development staffs. GM will reduce salaried and salaried contract staff by 15 percent and executive ranks by 25 percent.

It said earlier this month that it plans to move workers at its Pontiac propulsion facility to its Tech Center in Warren.

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The boat's passengers, in a party mood halfway through their journey, likely panicked when the vessel started to sink, he said. Some of the boat cruise passengers were singers Iryn Namubiru and The Mith of the group Klear Kut.

A White House official said that Trump spoke with Barra on Sunday, before the closures were publicly announced.

She said the industry is changing rapidly and moving toward electric propulsion, autonomous vehicles and ride-sharing, and GM must adjust with it.

She also noted that tariffs on imported aluminium and steel had hit the company, but she stopped short of saying they had anything to do with the restructuring.

"General Motors' decision today... will not go unchallenged by the UAW", said Terry Dittes, the union's vice president in charge of negotiations with GM.

General Motors is closing five production plants in the USA and Canada, but it looks like the company's Arlington plant is still going at full speed.

Calling it a sad day for Durham, Premier Doug Ford said he will do "everything possible" to support the GM workers.

Bobbi Marsh, who has worked assembling the Chevrolet Cruze compact auto at the OH plant since 2008, said she can't understand why the factory might close given the strong economy.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was "deeply disappointed" by the decision to shut the Oshawa, Ontario plant.

"This country has also invested a lot in General Motors", he added, referring to the 2009 bailout that saw the federal and provincial governments invest billions in GM and Chrysler to keep the companies afloat.

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