GM CEO invited to speak before federal committee

Windsor West MP Brian Masse at the Unifor rally at Dieppe Gardens, Windsor, January 11, 2019. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

The CEO of General Motors will be invited to Ottawa to explain the company’s decision to close its plant in Oshawa.

Windsor West MP Brian Masse, who is the New Democratic Party’s industry and auto critic, introduced a motion at the federal government’s Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology.

“This is an important step so that the committee members ask the questions that are on the minds of Canadian GM workers who will lose their jobs with the Oshawa plant closure,” said Masse. “The Canadian automotive and manufacturing industry took a disproportionate hit compared to the U.S. We need an explanation from GM about the future of Canadian workers and the industry.”

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With the Oshawa closure, General Motors also plans to close four other plants in the U.S. The company will cut 2,900 jobs in Canada or 33.7 per cent of its workforce. In the U.S., 3,805 jobs will be reduced or 3.7 per cent.

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The company claimed it needs to close the Oshawa plant to generate additional resources to invest in innovation. However, Masse said GM has also “generated $6 billion in profits and has received multi-billion dollar investments from Honda and the Softbank Vision Fund for its autonomous vehicle unit.”

“The last time that GM was in trouble was during the 2009 fiscal meltdown with the Canadian federal government providing a bailout which totalled $10.8 billion in loans, share purchases and subsidies,” he said. “The net loss on the package is between $4 billion to $5 billion, including a $1 billion loan write-off.”

“It is our responsibility as parliamentarians to get the answers that all Canadians deserve,” continued Masse.