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article imageGM Production Halted By Union Protest

By Bob Ewing     Jun 8, 2008 in Business
General Motors' Oshawa, Ontario, car and truck plants were shut down for several hours Saturday during a protest against plans to close a truck assembly line.
General Motors workers continued their protest yesterday by driving their vechiles around the company's plants.
The plants were shut down for several hours as the workers registered their anger with the company's plans to close the plants.
Union spokesman Keith Osborne said. Federal politicians, including Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion and NDP Leader Jack Layton, were present to provide their support,
Transport workers could be heard honking their horns in support of the workers.
According to Osborne, who is the Canadian Auto Workers' plant chair for GM's Oshawa complex, the vehicles travelled at about 10 km/hr in a protest aimed at pressuring the company to reverse its decision.
Meanwhile the union's blockade of the plant was in its fourth day; the blockade began last Wednesday, one day after GM announced plans to close four plants in North America.
The Oshawa truck-assembly line is slated to shut down next year, putting 2,600 people out of work.
Two weeks prior to this announcement, members of the Canadian Auto Workers union ratified a three-year contract with General Motors, which they say contained a promise the plant would build a new hybrid truck that would give them work until at least 2011.
The union has vowed to maintain the blockade and states that the Oshawa plant shutdown violates that contract, in which members agreed to a wage freeze and several concessions to maintain the jobs.
Buzz Hargove, union president had met on Friday with GM brass at the company's headquarters in Detroit, but GM flatly refused a union demand to keep the truck plant open past 2009.
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