Unifor Local 222 members were celebrated today at a GM Employee Recognition event to mark the successful launch of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra truck lines. The Oshawa Assembly plant has just completed a $500 million transformation making it the only plant in North America that is capable of building both cars and trucks.
“We have 500 million reasons to celebrate today… but there wouldn’t be one cent made without your sweat and your commitment,” National President Jerry Dias told hundreds of members at the event. “You stood up for your plant, you stood up for each other, and you stood up for your community.”
Dias also credited Local 222 President Colin James and Plant Chairperson Greg Moffatt for their work in obtaining a new future for the plant.
The line formerly manufactured the Chevy Equinox but following the half billion dollar retrofit is now home to the Silverado and Sierra.
“You made the impossible possible, in six months less a day you brought pickup trucks back to Oshawa,” said GM Canada President Steve Carlisle. “This plant epitomizes transformation both of a plant and a culture.”
Unifor’s National Secretary-Treasurer Bob Orr, Assistant to the National President Shane Wark, and Auto Director Dino Chiodo also attended to extend congratulations to the GM members.
The plant’s future had been in question prior to the last round of contract negotiations in 2016 when Unifor initiated its “Invest in Canada” campaign which resulted in the multi-million dollar investment in Oshawa.
The investment gains became tangible as the first salable truck rolled off the line on January 7, 2018 with GM projecting a strong market.
“2018 is quickly going down as the year of the truck,” said Michael MacPhee, Brand Director for Buick and GMC. “These trucks are designed to be as strong as the people who make them.”