February 18th, 2019

Windsor-essex NDP MPs Work to Protect Jobs and Call for "Made in Canada" Procurement Policy

WINDSOR – Today, NDP MPs Cheryl Hardcastle (Windsor-Tecumseh), Brian Masse (Windsor-West) and Tracey Ramsey (Essex) joined with UNIFOR Local presidents and GM retirees to stand in solidarity with the General Motors workers in Oshawa, urging the Liberals not to purchase GM vehicles not made in Canada for government vehicular fleet procurement.

“For years, New Democrats, alongside labour and automakers, have pressed past governments for a National Auto Strategy in Canada to ensure a measured outcome-based approach for our direct assembly and supply chain automotive economy, but these calls have sadly been dismissed,” said Hardcastle. “The Liberal government must step in and commit to doing what it takes to keep these jobs in Canada. A first step can be to ensure that the $320 million worth in GM cars purchased by the federal government, be only those made in Canada.”

Last November, General Motors announced their plan to close an Oshawa plant as part of a global restructuring leaving more than 2,500 employees out in the cold. Ultimately, this decision will result in 24,000 lost jobs. This decision is a complete betrayal of workers in Oshawa who are the reason behind GM's success and profits. This is also a betrayal of all Canadians whose tax dollars were used in an $11 billion loan to GM to help them during rough times.

“From the first announcement of the GM Oshawa closure, the Liberal government has provided no leadership, no plan and no help for the workers or for the 23,000 people affected in Oshawa. It is unacceptable. Today, the NDP is putting forward concrete, actionable steps and is taking a stand,” said Ramsey. “I know from personal experience how hard this situation is for people, and it’s shameful to see the Trudeau Liberal government give up without even trying.”

GM made $8 billion in profits in 2018 but would rather pay their workers in Mexico $2 than pay Canadians a decent wage.

“By refusing to fight for these workers, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is showing himself on the side of corporate greed, and not on the side of Canadians,” said Masse. “Canadians deserve a government that is willing to stand up and fight for their jobs and their interests. They need someone who has their back.”