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GM halts assembly operations at Canadian plant as strike fallout continues

GM halted vehicle assembly operations at its plant in Oshawa, Ontario, on Sept. 20. Photo: Shutterstock

General Motors (NYSE: GM) suspended all auto assembly operations at its plant in Oshawa as the impact of the ongoing strike by 49,000 autoworkers in the United States continued to hit Canada.

GM made the move on Sept. 20 because of the inability to source parts from plants impacted by the United Automobile Workers strike. Earlier in the week, the automaker stopped its light truck assembly.

“We plan to resume these operations as quickly as possible upon resolution of the UAW strike,” GM Canada spokesperson Jacqueline Thomson wrote in an email. Stamping operations were not disrupted, she added. 

Nearly 2,000 GM workers had been issued temporary layoffs. Meanwhile, the union Unifor reported that suppliers followed suit with about 1,700 workers, including about 350 employees of CEVA Logistics (NASDAQ: CEVA).

The Ceva workers are involved in the coordination and assembly of parts, said Unifor Local 222 President Colin James, whose union represents thousands of GM and supplier workers in Oshawa. A Ceva spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

“We’ve taken a step backward,” James said of the layoffs.

So far GM’s two other Canadian facilities in Ingersoll and St. Catharines continue to operate normally.

The GM strike has also impacted trucking in Canada. Michigan-based Martin Transportation Systems temporarily laid off at least 40 drivers who handled cross-border routes between GM plants in Michigan and Canada.

The strike and halting of assembly operations at GM’s Oshawa facility are likely to hit the trucking sector amid the further disruption of the movement of parts and vehicles between the U.S. and Canada.

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Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at [email protected]