Toronto, Ontario – Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) national president Ken Lewenza has called the announcement of 500 temporary job cuts at General Motors’ Oshawa, Ontario car plant “terrible news” and “further evidence of the need for government support of Canada’s failing auto industry.”
“Today’s new is devastating to our members in Oshawa,” Lewenza said, in response to GM’s announcement that it intends to slow down production at the plant to adjust to declining market conditions. “If there is a silver lining, it’s the fact that these are temporary and not permanent layoffs.”
Lewenza said he believes the latest round of job cuts should prompt the federal government to act quickly and lend support to the auto sector in a fashion similar to its support of the Canadian banking sector. “The U.S. government has already approved $25 billion in support for the beleagured auto industry,” Lewenza said. “By contrast, there hasn’t been any similar sense of urgency from our federal government to act, and that has to change.”
Lewenza also pointed out that the GM cuts follow an announcement of 470 layoffs at the Navistar truck plant in Chatham, Ontario, and another 500 job losses in Ingersoll, Ontario at the CAMI plant, a joint venture of GM and Suzuki.