Oshawa Plant Closing Just Another Symptom of Bad Free Trade Agreements, says Council of Canadians

November 28, 2018
Media Release

Ottawa – Following GM’s announcement that it plans to close its Oshawa plant, The Council of Canadians expressed solidarity with Unifor’s fight to reverse the decision. It is successive free trade agreements, such as NAFTA, which have contributed to the decline of autoworker jobs in Canada, says the Council.

“The Council of Canadians is disturbed by GM’s announcement that it plans to close the Oshawa plant, putting in jeopardy the livelihoods of 5,000 people and their families, as well as the impacts that will have on thousands more in the community. We support Unifor in opposing this closing,” said Maude Barlow, honorary chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “But let this be a warning: we must reverse course on free trade agreements, or there will be further decimation of good jobs. NAFTA, for example, effectively killed the Auto Pact, the one great program which supported Canadian autoworker jobs. The industry has been in decline since. Our other agreements with Europe and Pacific countries will just put more salt in the wound.”

“After the financial crisis of 2008, our governments bailed out GM, and supported it with the hopes of keeping an important high value industry in Canada. The Trudeau government must act strongly and swiftly to ensure that GM faces its moral debt to Canadian taxpayers and the Oshawa community who have supported them,” continued Barlow.

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For more information or to arrange interviews:

Dylan Penner, Media Officer, Council of Canadians, 613-795-8685, dpenner@canadians.org. Twitter: @CouncilOfCDNs

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