Echoing Trump, Unifor pleads for GM to cut Mexican auto jobs
22 December 2018
Unifor President Jerry Dias and local union officials from General Motors’ Oshawa, Ontario assembly plant met in Detroit with representatives of GM’s top brass Thursday to discuss the impending closure of the Canadian facility. A GM restructuring plan, announced last month, calls for the elimination of all 2,500 jobs at the Oshawa plant and another 12,200 production and white-collar jobs in the United States.
At a press conference Thursday afternoon, Dias said the union presented the automaker with “options” for the Oshawa complex, which for decades was GM’s flagship manufacturing facility in Canada and as recently as the late 1980s employed more than 20,000 workers.
The meeting with senior GM executives came on the heels of Unifor placing four full-page ads in the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News, and purchasing prime-time television and radio commercials in Canada so as to foment anti-Mexican chauvinism. The ads, which included imprints of the US and Canadian flags, demanded auto jobs be slashed in Mexico in order to maintain jobs and production in Canada and the United States.
“U.S. and Canadian workers made GM. Why should our jobs go to Mexico? Keep our plants open,” stated Unifor’s front-page Detroit Free Press advertisement. More ads inside the newspaper said, “GM has made excuses for closing five plants in Canada and the U.S. But really it’s about moving our jobs and our products to Mexico.” And “GM, if you sell here, you have to build here.”
This is nationalist poison. The fight to save jobs in Canada or anywhere else cannot be waged on the basis of anti-Mexican chauvinism. Unifor and the US-based United Auto Workers (UAW) have long spewed…