MOTORING NEWS
June 02, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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US automaker General Motors said Friday it is closing a plant in the central Canadian city of Oshawa, putting 2,000 staff out of work.

The auto assembly plant was due to be shuttered in 2008 but strong demand for the Chevrolet Impala has delayed the closure until June 2013, a GM spokesperson told AFP, adding that one of three shifts at the plant would be laid off at the beginning of next year.

Canadian Auto Workers union president Ken Lewenza blasted the "short-sighted" decision.

"The decision to close this very productive plant and put 2,000 more workers out of a job is ill thought-out and could damage the company in the long run," he said in a statement.

"It is also a betrayal of the tremendous work and sacrifices by our members that went into keeping General Motors afloat in 2008-2009, when the company was on the verge of bankruptcy."

GM spokeswoman Adria MacKenzie countered that it was too soon to measure the impact of the closure, and noted that several plant employees will have reached retirement age by then.

In December 2011, Ottawa announced Can$68 million ($65.4 million) to renew the Oshawa plant in a bid to preserve jobs.

Prior to Friday's announcement, GM employed more than 10,000 staff in Ontario province.

AFP


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