The highly anticipated job announcement by GM was confirmed Friday in Oshawa with high profile guests Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Kathleen Wynne. But the announcement is receiving a lukewarm reception in Canada’s Motor City.
“I am so pleased to announced today that General Motors will undertake a significant expansion of our engineering and software work right here in Canada.”
GM Canada confirmed today it will hire approximately 700 engineers who will help expand research into the connect car and self- driving vehicles.
“This investment today highlights how interesting Ontario and Canada is in terms of making investments global companies of tremendous profiles like GM and we are certainly proud of the announcement we are making today because it really showcases the best of Canada and how Canada should be and can be.”
“It’s more than just the cars, it’s about the proceeds from the sales of cars and how that tax dollar is spent across the country so today is an exciting story for Oshawa but its really an exciting story for all of Canada.”
Despite the investment, Unifor 222 President Collin James says he’s disappointed by the much touted announcement.
“My reaction is these jobs do absolutely nothing for our jobs in the manufacturing sector in Oshawa. It’s great that they announced jobs to the community but in November we lost a thousand jobs just inside the GM facility in Oshawa that affected 1000 families in the community. And we would like to see some job announcements for jobs in our facility.”
Oshawa MPP Jennifer French also expressed disappointment.
“It’s frustrating. I sat in the audience and I appreciate the videos and the innovation and the magic of the automotive industry. This is all exciting but you see up to 1000 positions in the small print and that’s including those that are existing and those that will be in Markham so I would like a real number.”
The union has threatened to strike at GM Canada if the new vehicles aren’t produced at the Oshawa plant.
“This for me is GM talking about a long term future in Canada so it makes sense that they are going to utilize and implement the technology that they are developing in their North American auto plants so I see this as a great first step”
Members in the audience from the Oshawa plant who did not want to appear on camera said they felt the announcement was nothing but a political photo op that does nothing for the local community.