No sign of end to four-week GM strike
Nearly 1,500 employees at General Motors Co.’s Canadian feeder plants have been temporarily laid off, according to two union leaders, as the impact of the U.S. auto workers’ strike grows.
Lear Corporation, CEVA Logistics, Syncreon, Auto Warehousing Company Canada, Oakley Industries and Robinson Solutions have cumulatively laid off approximately 1,400 employees, according to Colin James, president of Unifor Local 222.
Unifor’s national president, Jerry Dias, confirmed in a phone interview that nine unionized suppliers within the Oshawa, Ont. hub alone have sent workers home.
CEVA and Robinson Solutions declined to comment, while calls and emails to each of the other suppliers went unanswered.
The news highlights the growing impact of the weeks-long strike by GM employees, which is already the company’s longest walk off since 1970.
Talks between GM and United Automobile Workers (UAW) hit a stumbling block over the weekend when the company reportedly submitted a previously-rejected offer with minor tweaks to union negotiators.
The spillover into Canada is a new experience for GM workers.
“[Decades ago] we didn’t worry about the Americans going down because our supply chain was all contained in Canada,” said a GM employee, who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak on the record, in a phone interview with BNN Bloomberg.
“Now GM is spread all over the place, so no strike is contained to one region,” the worker added.
Approximately 2,200 workers at GM’s Oshawa plant are laid off, as well as about 800 at the company’s St. Catharines facility.
In a text message to BNN Bloomberg, Greg Brady, president of St. Catharines’ local union, said 200 employees were called back to work this week to supply transmissions to GM’s Ingersoll, Ont. plant.
The “Cami” plant, as the Ingersoll facility is known, has enough parts to stay operational until late October, Dias said.