General Motors plans to shut down its plant in Oshawa, Ontario, where about 2,500 people work.
The automaker is expected to announce the closure today, The Detroit News learned from an unnamed official familiar with the decision. The insider asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to talk publicly ahead of the official announcement. According to the official, GM has informed the Canadian government about the move, which is part of a global restructuring of the company.
The automaker aims to shift its focus to more environmentally-friendly hybrid vehicles. A General Motors spokesman declined to comment on the report.
Unifor, Canada’s largest private sector union, said GM notified it about “a major announcement” on Monday that would “impact its global operations.” The automaker also informed Unifor that there was no product allocated to the Oshawa plant past December 2019. The association said it didn’t accept the announcement and would hold a discussion with General Motors on Monday.
Jennifer French, Member of Provincial Parliament in Ontario, described the news as “gravely concerning” in a statement. “If GM Canada is indeed turning its back on 100 years of industry and community – abandoning workers and families in Oshawa – then this is a callous decision that must be fought,” the politician said.
In 2009, GM received several billion dollars in loans and support from the Canadian and Ontario governments as the company when through bankruptcy protection. As of October 2018, records from Canada’s national export credit agency showed there was an outstanding loan to GM Corp. for more than $1 billion. The loan appeared to be attributed to the bankrupt part of the company that split off from the existing GM in 2009.