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Layoff notices have been handed out to hundreds of workers at the General Motors transmission-making factory in St. Catharines, Ont., as effects spread from a strike that started Sunday at GM’s CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ont.
At least 255 of the 350 union workers at the St. Catharines plant will be laid off starting Monday, said Unifor 199 chairman Tim McKinnon.
“Even though they were down, we ran all week … We have a lot of transmissions stockpiled now because we didn’t know if they were going to resolve it this week or not. It doesn’t look like they’re going to.”
He said even if the strike at the plant that makes Chevrolet Equinox vehicles is resolved over the weekend, the St. Catharines workers will be out for at least a week. He added his union supports the CAMI workers’ strike despite the layoffs.
GM Canada, meanwhile, says in an update posted Thursday on its website that it has made “production adjustments” at St. Catharines and at two American engine plants in Spring Hill, Tenn., and Flint, Mich., as a result of the strike.
Earlier Wednesday, parts maker Magna International announced it would stop supplying parts to the CAMI plant, a decision it said would affect output at a few of its facilities in Ontario, without being specific.
“We’re just trying to be responsible and see if there’s any way we can bring a quick resolution to the work stoppage and minimize the effects on our members and the suppliers and the surrounding community,” he said.
When asked if GM would meet with the union, the spokeswoman sent a copy of GM’s statement posted last Sunday which expressed disappointment that talks had broken down and encouraged Unifor to resume negotiations. She wouldn’t say if any meetings have been scheduled with the union.
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