The union representing Canada’s auto workers is standing firm by its Super Bowl ad that takes aim at General Motors and its decision to close its plant in Oshawa, Ont. The ad aired Sunday in defiance of GM’s cease-and-desist letter. 

“I’m not going to listen to GM’s lawyers,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias in an interview with BNN Bloomberg on Monday. “They’re not going to dictate our strategy.”

Dias went on to defend Unifor’s spending on the 30-second ad, which labels General Motors as “un-Canadian” and calls out the company for leaving Canadian workers “out in the cold.”

“It [cost] under $200,000. This mindset that somehow we spent $5 million on a Super Bowl ad is preposterous,” Dias said.

“We will spend … whatever we deem is necessary to get General Motors’ attention.”

In a letter hand-delivered to Dias on Friday, the lawyer representing General Motors said that the ad “is clearly intended … to disparage GM’s business interests” and that if not “immediately withdrawn” will cause “substantial and irreparable damage to GM and its related entities in Canada and beyond.”

In November, General Motors announced its plans to cut more than 14,000 jobs and shutter seven factories worldwide by the end of 2019, affecting about 2,600 workers in Oshawa.


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