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GM pickup truck production to return to Oshawa

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

DURHAM: A deal has been reached and ratified which will bring vehicle production back to the Oshawa General Motors (GM) plant.

The deal which will see the plant make pickup trucks again as of January 2022, was announced on Thursday, November 5th. Unifor then held ratification votes over the weekend, and members voted 85 percent in favour of ratification of the three-year collective agreement.

“This contract solidifies and boldly builds on GM’s Canadian footprint, with a $1.3 billion dollar investment that brings 1,700 jobs to Oshawa plus more than $109 million to in-source new transmission work for the Corvette and support continued V8 engine production in St. Catharines,” Unifor National President Jerry Dias said.

A Unifor press release stated, “Oshawa will be the only GM plant capable of producing both light and heavy trucks.”

Scott Bell, GM Canada’s president and managing director, provided further information in a statement, following the announcement of the deal.

“Construction will begin immediately at Oshawa Assembly and will include a new body shop and flexible assembly module, to support a fast response to strong customer demand for GM’s new family of pickup trucks. They target Oshawa pickup production to begin in January 2022. Pickups are GM’s largest and most important market segment in Canada and across the continent. They also help GM fund our transition to the electric, autonomous and highly connected future we see ahead,” he explained. “These new investments will come in addition to GM’s other recent investments in Canada, which include a $28 million Renewable Energy Cogeneration project at St. Catharines; a $170 million investment in an after-market parts operation in Oshawa; ongoing expansion of GM’s Canadian Technology Centre and investments in the new 55-acre CTC McLaughlin Advanced Technology Track, and GM Canada’s ongoing work in Oshawa to manufacture 10 million face masks for the Government of Canada.”

Durham Regional Chair John Henry called this agreement “very welcome news for the residents and families of Oshawa and across Durham Region.”

“Durham Region’s automotive sector has been at the forefront of innovation for over a century, continuously innovating with advanced new solutions. With the investment announced today, combined with GM’s new Autonomous Vehicle Test Track, GM and Unifor have made it clear they intend to grow and maintain their position as key players in advanced mobility in Ontario. Drawing on Durham’s longstanding excellence in automotive manufacturing and energy innovation, these plans help Durham to continue to be a leader in the next generation of mobility, developing a path forwards towards electric and autonomous mobility,” Chair Henry added.

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