#SaveOshawaGM campaign officially launched

Jerry Dias

To all Unifor members and staff,

Today Unifor officially launched its #SaveOshawaGM campaign with a nationwide call to support autoworkers and to keep good jobs in Canada.

Despite earning $6 billion U.S. in profits so far this year, General Motors announced that it plans to end production at the Oshawa Assembly Plant after 2019. Unifor represents 2,600 workers at Oshawa GM and 2,700 more at auto parts suppliers that service the plant. It is estimated that every direct job in auto assembly creates seven other jobs, meaning thousands of additional jobs would be lost in the wider economy.

This fight is about saving good paying jobs for our members but it is also a fight against corporations that expect Canadians to remain as loyal customers while striping away jobs from workers, those employed in spin off jobs, and the communities that depend upon them. If GM is allowed to exit Oshawa without consequence it sets a dangerous precedent, not just for auto but for all Canadian manufacturing jobs at multinational corporations.

I ask you to join in taking a stand for working people. Together we can send a clear message to GM that we do not, and will not, accept this unprincipled act of corporate greed.

Today we unveiled a Tree of Hope in Oshawa’s Memorial Park, decorated with #SaveOshawaGM ornaments and surrounded by a banner with messages of support for the workers.

Unifor is asking all Canadians to visit SaveOshawaGM.ca to order a free #SaveOshawaGM ornament to display on their tree and on social media using the hashtag #SaveOshawaGM. Those in the Oshawa area are invited to visit the Tree of Hope to sign the banner.

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At the SaveOshawaGM.ca website you will also find a letter to email to GM executives telling them to reverse their decision on the Oshawa Assembly Plant and continue to maintain its manufacturing footprint in Oshawa. Please take a minute to click and send this important email and ask your family and friends to do the same. #SaveOshawaGM t-shirts are also available for purchase on the site, or using this form.

Public pressure is the best weapon that we possess against GM.  The company and its executives need to feel the heat of public outrage and understand there will be reputational and financial harm to its brand. I encourage you all to get active on social media to let GM know that you stand with the workers. Like Facebook.com/SaveOshawaGM and follow @SaveOshawaGM on Twitter. Use the #SaveOshawaGM and #Unifor hashtags and tag in @GM, @GMcanada and CEO @mtbarra. Let’s see those pictures with your #SaveOshawaGM ornament!

Future events are being planned with details forthcoming. Thank you all for your support in this campaign. I wish you all a happy and safe holiday and a wonderful New Year.


In Solidarity,

Jerry Dias
Unifor National President