General Motors is going to cut 625 jobs at its vehicle assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, by the end of July as it moves some production work to Mexico, the president of Canada’s biggest auto workers union stated on Friday.
The union blamed the North American Free Trade Agreement and Mexico’s cheaper labor expenses for the job losses, which it called unjustified noting strong sales of the Chevrolet Equinox crossover and GMC Terrain sport utility vehicle assembled the plant of southern Ontario.
“This came right from left field,” stated Jerry Dias, president of the Unifor union. “This nothing to do with Trump, but it has everything to do with NAFTA.”
U.S. President Donald Trump, who has sworn to renegotiate NAFTA with Canada and Mexico, consulted with the CEOs of the US automakers previously this week, prompting them to develop more U.S. plants.
General Motors Canada alerted Unifor beforehand about the labor impact from phasing out older models and moving production of a new Equinox design, stated spokeswoman Jennifer Wright in a statement.
General Motors has been preparing for the Terrain move for years, however only recently chose to end assembly of an older version of the Equinox at Ingersoll, stated Sam Fiorani, vice president of global auto forecasting with AutoForecast Solutions.
The job cuts were rather unexpected, given automaker’s investment of some C$ 800 million on upgrades to produce a new 2019 Equinox model, stated Tony Faria, a University of Windsor professor.
He included that all automakers pare costs where they can, nevertheless.
” As companies move their operations, someone’s going to win within the NAFTA region and someone’s going to lose. And here’s a case where we lose,” Faria stated.
Ingersoll was not part of a four-year labor deal the union worked out with General Motors Canada last September, which secured C$554 million ($421.21 million) of investments for other plants. The Ingersoll agreement ends in September, stated Dias, who expects negotiations to start in late summer.
“Whatever we have been led to understand is that by focusing the Equinox production on our Ingersoll facilities, whatever was going to be fine,” Dias stated.
“There is a solution. They should stop plans immediately to shift the Terrain to Mexico.”