GM to make major announcement about global operations Monday: Canada union

FILE PHOTO: A line up of cars is seen on a road after a shift change at the General Motors Car assembly plant in Oshawa, June 1, 2012. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

MONTREAL (Reuters) – General Motors Co (GM.N) is set to make a major announcement on Monday that will affect its global operations, including auto production at an Ontario plant, a Canadian union said in a statement on Sunday.

Unifor, which represents most autoworkers in Canada, said it had been informed by GM that there would be no product allocated to the plant in Oshawa after December 2019, a development that would affect production at the plant.

The statement came after a local TV news channel said GM was planning to close all operations at the plant in Oshawa, near Toronto.

A GM spokesman declined to comment on Sunday evening.

GM has been cutting jobs to deal with plunging car sales in North America. The company has been internally debating for months how to address shrinking car demand, a person briefed on the matter said, and the issue is certain to re-emerge when GM holds contract talks next year with the United Auto Workers union.

Analysts have said GM has too many North American plants building slow-selling sedans. GM Chief Executive Mary Barra said in a message to employees last month that the automaker needed to cut costs, citing negative cash flow for the first nine months of the year.

GM has been offering buyouts to North American salaried workers and has said it could lay off white-collar staff if it does not hit a cost-cutting target.

The person briefed on the matter confirmed GM planned a major announcement on the future of the Oshawa plant but said the automaker wanted to notify employees of its plans before confirming any announcements of the plant’s closure.

GM employs about 2,500 union staff and roughly 300 salaried employees in the Oshawa area. The U.S.-based automaker has other operations in Canada, including a plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, where it assembles the Chevrolet Equinox.

Reporting by Allison Lampert; Additional reporting by David Shepherdson in Washington DC; Writing by Denny Thomas; Editing by Peter Cooney

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