Ontario Construction News staff writer
General Motors last week announced a $280 million plan to transform the Oshawa assembly plant to produce the next generation of full-sized internal combustion engine pickup trucks.
“We have taken the next big step in securing the plant’s footprint and thousands of good paying union jobs in Ontario with GM’s investment and product commitment to the next generation of trucks,” said Lana Payne, Unifor national president. “These workers build some of the highest quality trucks in the world and it is thanks to their hard work that this investment is possible.
“It makes sense to invest in our highly skilled Oshawa members, half of whom are women, to drive both the local and national economies forward.”
The announcement was welcomed by the more than 3,000 Unifor members employed at Oshawa Assembly, which currently produces the Chevrolet Silverado.
“It is important there is stability for our Local 222 members going forward,” said Jason Gale, Unifor GM Master Bargaining Chair. “Unifor fought long and hard to secure these jobs for Oshawa, as we’ve seen the plant return from the closure of vehicle assembly to a three-shift assembly operation today.”
The plant is GM’s only truck plant capable of producing the heavy-duty Silverado HD and light-duty Silverado 1500 on the same production line.
“Our members stand ready to build the next generation of trucks and the generation beyond that,” Payne said. “The success of the Oshawa-made Silverado trucks is helping fund GM’s EV investments. As the transition continues our members expect to share in the EV future.”
The investment at GM Oshawa Assembly is the latest in a round of financial commitments in Canadian vehicle assembly and parts production plants by the Detroit Three (D3) automakers. Unifor is poised to build on that momentum as the union heads into collective bargaining with the D3 starting in August.
Unifor previously unveiled its set of 29 recommendations for governments and automakers in its auto policy document, Navigating the Road Ahead: Rebuilding Canada’s powerhouse auto sector.