- Jun 4, 2008
CAW form blockade in front of GM Canada to protest plant closings
The dust hasn't settled yet on General Motors' announcement that it will be closing an additional four plants, but the Canadian Auto Workers union is already foaming at the mouth. The CAW organized 30 trucks to block GM Canada's headquarters in response to the company's decision to close its Oshawa truck plant. The Oshawa plant produces the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickups, production of which the General has reduced sharply in response to slow sales. The Canadian union says it won't move the trucks, which is blocking all vehicular traffic, until it meets with GM officials. While the CAW is letting pedestrians on foot through the blockade, we wouldn't be surprised if bipedal passage comes accompanied by a few colorful words that would make a sailor blush.
While the CAW would never want to lose a plant under any circumstances, the rank and file are particularly angry this time because the news came only two weeks after GM promised to keep the plant open through most of 2009. GM also promised that the plant would build its next generation light-duty pickup. In the automaker's defense, GM needs to make tough decisions quickly because of this rapidly changing market, and unions don't really react as the wind blows.