General Motors got a rude awakening if they picked up a copy of the Detroit Free Press or Detroit News. Right on the front page is a large ad by Canadian union Unifor accusing GM executives of having the lack of support toward Canadian and U.S. plant workers after announcing certain products would be "unallocated" and bringing up the possible worry of plant closures.
One ad says, "U.S. and Canadian workers made GM," that follows with the question, "Why should our jobs and our products go to Mexico? Keep our plants open."
Automotive News notes that the ads weren't in any Candian papers. The most likely reason for that is that Unifor officials would be meeting with GM today at the Renaissance Center.
“GM needs to know that we are not accepting their announcement. It is crystal clear to myself and the leadership of the union that GM is leaving Canada. The newspaper ads are to let them know we are dead serious,” said Unifor president Jerry Dias.
Dias said the ads are to show GM that it will have “a real problem” selling new vehicles to consumers on either side of the border starting next year.
“GM has betrayed consumers in Canada and the United States. People are finally saying to GM, ‘You have gone too far.’ This is going on on both sides of the border,” he said.
GM in an emailed statement to Automotive News said, "The GM restructuring decisions are extremely difficult for all of us in Oshawa, but we believe the best approach is to work together to support our employees including support for local training and transition initiatives in the Durham Region. We remain strongly committed to Canada and will continue to engage in dialogue with Unifor."
GM also confirmed the meeting with Unifor but declined to provide any details about it.
Kristin Dziczek, vice president of Industry, Labor & Economics at the Center for Automotive Research said Unifor faces an uphill battle with GM as their negotiations don't till 2020, a year after the UAW does theirs.
"The UAW is going to go after any new product allocations for their two plants that are set to close and others that are underutilized," she said.
"If there's product to be got, the UAW is going to go after it first."
Dziczek also notes that Unifor's ads have "somewhat have a point" regarding GM's plants in Mexico, which are more utilized than many plants in Canada and the U.S.
"They have to look like they're fighting like mad, and there are lots of ways of doing that. This is one way."
We have a picture of the ad from the Detroit Free Press below if you're interested in what it looks like.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)