General Motors Canada and Unifor have announced that they have reached a “Transformation Agreement” that will transition the GM Oshawa Assembly operations to parts manufacturing and advanced vehicle testing.
While there will still be significant reductions in the workforce when it’s vehicle production allocation ends later in 2019, the announcement does provide significantly greater ongoing activity than was previously anticipated.
The agreement includes the following:
- General Motors plans to invest in excess of C$170 million to support a transition of operations at the Plant from vehicle assembly to one focused on stamping, related sub-assembly, and other miscellaneous activities for GM and other auto industry customers.
- GM will convert part of the Oshawa Plant property into a test track for autonomous and advanced technology vehicles – further expanding the capability of GM’s Canadian Technical Centre (CTC) in Ontario.
- The new business will retain 300 Oshawa jobs with the potential to grow and generate significant additional jobs in the coming years, as the business attracts new customers.
- GM Canada will offer special relocations to Oshawa employees for jobs at some of its other Ontario operations.
- GM will offer enhanced retirement packages to retirement-eligible Oshawa Assembly employees including vouchers toward the purchase of new GM vehicles, a benefit that will support both retiring employees and GM dealerships in Durham Region and surrounding areas.
- A transition plan for other GM Oshawa Assembly employees. A “Jobs Action Centre” will be opened in June 2019, in Oshawa to enable employees to plan now for future career opportunities outside GM following the end of Oshawa vehicle production in December 2019. Supported by GM, Unifor and the Ontario government, the Jobs Action Centre will help match employee skills with new employers’ requirements.
- GM will offer retraining financial support for all qualified Oshawa Assembly hourly employees seeking new employment.
To further underscore its partnership and commitment to Oshawa’s sustainable future, GM also intends to donate the three-acre Fenelon Park and the 87-acre McLaughlin Bay wildlife preserve to the City of Oshawa for the permanent benefit of all its citizens.
GM Canada president and managing director Travis Hester said, “This transformation plan is very significant as it positions Oshawa for a sustainable future. This agreement maximizes the support for our people and their families, and further secures Oshawa as a key in developing vehicles of the future at our new test track.”
“By maintaining a footprint in Oshawa, and keeping the plant intact, we save hundreds of jobs and this gives us the ability to build and create new jobs in the future. We are in a much better position than we were five months ago when the plant was closing,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.