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turningrite

GM packing its bags in Oshawa

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The timing could hardly be worse, with Christmas only a month away. But the optics are even worse when considering the Trudeau government's recent and supposedly successful NAFTA (um, USMCA) renegotiation and Morneau's corporate tax cuts of last week. What's left of Canada's manufacturing sector, which once produced solid middle class jobs, is simply evaporating and it looks like there's nothing the government can or will do to stop it. Trudeau's pompous twaddle about sustaining the middle class and those "working hard to join it" surely must ring hallow for more people each day. When listening yesterday to the news about the closure of the Oshawa plant, I thought back to statements made by labour leaders a few short weeks ago about what a good deal the USMCA was/is. It appears their optimism was little more than wishful thinking.

Would the last person to hold an ordinary middle class job in the private sector in this country please shut the lights off before shutting the door on your way out. The rest of us can't afford to pay to keep them on.

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14 minutes ago, turningrite said:

The timing could hardly be worse, with Christmas only a month away. But the optics are even worse when considering the Trudeau government's recent and supposedly successful NAFTA (um, USMCA) renegotiation and Morneau's corporate tax cuts of last week. What's left of Canada's manufacturing sector, which once produced solid middle class jobs, is simply evaporating and it looks like there's nothing the government can or will do to stop it. Trudeau's pompous twaddle about sustaining the middle class and those "working hard to join it" surely must ring hallow for more people each day. When listening yesterday to the news about the closure of the Oshawa plant, I thought back to statements made by labour leaders a few short weeks ago about what a good deal the USMCA was/is. It appears their optimism was little more than wishful thinking.

Would the last person to hold an ordinary middle class job in the private sector in this country please shut the lights off before shutting the door on your way out. The rest of us can't afford to pay to keep them on.

This closure is a slap in the face for sure, especially given the previous GM plant closure and all of the past bailouts.  It's devastating news for Oshawa.  I think of the locals in Oshawa who buy GM vehicles and all of the infrastructure investments over the years.  If a production facility of some kind doesn't replace this plant, as everyone hopes, there should be a massive, Canada-wide boycott of GM vehicles.  This is important given the number of autos Canada imports from the US and the fact that auto sales in Canada were up over 13 percent.  We have the clout of our wallets.

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Listening to NDP leader Andrea Horwath in Question Period practically begging Ford to bail out GM in Oshawa "to protect good paying jobs". She's not interested in listening to the adjustment initiatives to be taken by Ford. She basically wants the Province to buy out GM. Sorry Andrea, Ford won't fall for your socialist pleas. GM is gone in Oshawa and its guaranteed other GM plants will follow.

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1 minute ago, Zeitgeist said:

If a production facility of some kind doesn't replace this plant, as everyone hopes, there should be a massive, Canada-wide boycott of GM vehicles.

Dream on. GM is restructuring and the cost of doing business in Canada/Ontario is too high. No number of boycotts will change their plans. Expect more GM plants to close.

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2 minutes ago, Zeitgeist said:

This closure is a slap in the face for sure, especially given the previous GM plant closure and all of the past bailouts.  It's devastating news for Oshawa.  I think of the locals in Oshawa who buy GM vehicles and all of the infrastructure investments over the years.  If a production facility of some kind doesn't replace this plant, as everyone hopes, there should be a massive, Canada-wide boycott of GM vehicles.  This is important given the number of autos Canada imports from the US and the fact that auto sales in Canada were up over 13 percent.  We have the clout of our wallets.

 

Sorry, but this would only be another emotional response with little impact...same as boycotting Heinz ketchup.   Scream and shout in anger as needed, but it is better to get through the five steps of grief as soon as possible and move on....this is not the first plant closure in Canada.

The underlying fundamentals of high labour costs, high energy costs, and taxes caused the loss of far more automotive jobs and plant closures long before today's GM announcement.

Ontario has been bleeding away automotive jobs for at least 20 years.

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4 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

Sorry, but this would only be another emotional response with little impact...same as boycotting Heinz ketchup.   Scream and shout in anger as needed, but it is better to get through the five steps of grief as soon as possible and move on....this is not the first plant closure in Canada.

The underlying fundamentals of high labour costs, high energy costs, and taxes caused the loss of far more automotive jobs and plant closures long before today's GM announcement.

Ontario has been bleeding away automotive jobs for at least 20 years.

Did you read the news?  Two US GM plants are also on the chopping block.  This is about industry seeking cheap labour in all jurisdictions.  Don't test Canadian consumers on this.  The backlash will be swift and heavy, as it should be.  Oshawa, Ontario, and Canada have given a lot to GM, arguably far too much.

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Just now, Zeitgeist said:

Did you read the news?  Two US GM plants are also on the chopping block.  This is about industry seeking cheap labour in all jurisdictions.  Don't test Canadian consumers on this.  The backlash will be swift and heavy, as it should be.  Oshawa, Ontario, and Canada have given a lot to GM, arguably far too much.

 

Of course....Michigan and Ohio too...so what ?   My area lost a 90 year old Ford truck assembly plant some years ago....it is being redeveloped into a light industrial park.

GM has shed 30,000+  jobs in Ontario before this, but now it is serious because the last 2500 in Oshawa are going too ?   Where was the big bad boycott back then ?

Still waiting for a Canadian owned car make to build an assembly plant in the USA.

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17 minutes ago, Zeitgeist said:

Did you read the news?  Two US GM plants are also on the chopping block.  This is about industry seeking cheap labour in all jurisdictions.  Don't test Canadian consumers on this.  The backlash will be swift and heavy, as it should be.  Oshawa, Ontario, and Canada have given a lot to GM, arguably far too much.

Wage arbitrage has been the primary goal of corporate globalization. Mainstream politicians have tried to buy, cajole and fake their way out of this. Former PM Harper, apparently a fan of "free" trade (which isn't really free, but that's a topic for another time) and large-scale immigration (albeit during his reign at more controlled levels than under Trudeau), noted in his recently published book that "...the world of globalization is not working for many of our own people. We can pretend that this is a false perception, but it is not. We now have a choice. We can keep trying to convince people that they misunderstand their own lives, or we can try to understand what they are saying." (Link to except published in the NP copied below.) Trump thinks he has a handle on and can contain corporate globalization. His 2016 presidential run certainly captured the zeitgeist (if I may use the term) among the increasingly dispossessed industrial working class in his country. But I wonder if he understands the depth and breadth of the problem? And I wonder if our fearless leader has any clue at all?

https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/exclusive-stephen-harper-book-excerpt

Edited by turningrite

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4 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

Of course....Michigan and Ohio too...so what ?   My area lost a 90 year old Ford truck assembly plant some years ago....it is being redeveloped into a light industrial park.

GM has shed 30,000+  jobs in Ontario before this, but now it is serious because the last 2500 in Oshawa are going too ?   Where was the big bad boycott back then ?

Still waiting for a Canadian owned car make to build an assembly plant in the USA.

Don't you get it?  GM IS part Canadian.  Buick came from Oshawa.  Our supply chains were integrated from the beginning, as were our markets.  Stop pretending that Canada was a vast hinterland where barbarians lived and nothing happened until some American decided to bestow jobs and vehicles on us.  Canada has always valued a highly educated and skilled workforce.  It has been a strong auto producer and consumer.  Be careful not to criticize Canada for trying to protect the same values you have for your own people.  We're not stupid and we see the contradiction.  This isn't National Socialism where one people gets to live the dream at other peoples' expense.  If that is what you propose, I promise it will quickly turn from the win-lose scenario you seem to promote to a lose-lose scenario as your exports and international reputation collapse.  We want to make nice and have a win-win, but it seems that no amount of wealth or greed is enough for the current US leadership.  I hope that our parliament and the Dems in the House scrap USMCA.  Trump needs to go.  So does Trudeau.  

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1 minute ago, Zeitgeist said:

Don't you get it?  GM IS part Canadian. 

 

Don't you get it ?   GM is more Chinese than it is Canadian.    You are living in the past....Durant and McLaughlin have been dead for many years.   The old GM died in 2009....went bankrupt....needed government bailouts.   Stop throwing good money after bad.

 

Quote

This isn't National Socialism where one people gets to live the dream at other peoples' expense.  If that is what you propose, I promise it will quickly turn from the win-lose scenario you seem to promote to a lose-lose scenario as your exports and international reputation collapse.  We want to make nice and have a win-win, but it seems that no amount of wealth or greed is enough for the current US leadership.  I hope that our parliament and the Dems in the House scrap USMCA.  Trump needs to go.  So does Trudeau.  

 

It will always be win-lose in the end.   Trump doesn't owe Canada a damn thing.   All of the America haters in Canada will just have one more thing to bitch about.

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1 minute ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

Don't you get it ?   GM is more Chinese than it is Canadian.    You are living in the past....Durant and McLaughlin have been dead for many years.   The old GM died in 2009....went bankrupt....needed government bailouts.   Stop throwing good money after bad.

 

 

It will always be win-lose in the end.   Trump doesn't owe Canada a damn thing.   All of the America haters in Canada will just have one more thing to bitch about.

I thought you said this was about the Chinese and not Canada.  Which is it?  Canada is not taking more jobs than its market share of the industry in terms of auto sales.  In fact, Canada imports more cars from the US than it exports to the US.  Our wages and labour costs are not low and predatory, yet we have remained as competitive as Michigan.  If the problem is China, stop blaming Canada and deal with China.  Wasn't this the big point you've been trying to make about Trump imposing steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada to prevent China from dumping steel and aluminum into Canada?  Now Canada has steel and aluminum tariffs on China.  That excuse for US tariffs against Canada is gone, yet those offensive tariffs remain.  Canadians are well informed and watching all of this closely.  We will decide with our wallets and votes.  It's not just about buying cars, but rather a whole range of consumer choices, from where we'll travel to how we'll spend online to who we will lend our reputation to internationally, which actually does count for something, whether or not you want to admit it.

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9 minutes ago, Zeitgeist said:

I thought you said this was about the Chinese and not Canada.  Which is it?  Canada is not taking more jobs than its market share of the industry in terms of auto sales.  In fact, Canada imports more cars from the US than it exports to the US.  Our wages and labour costs are not low and predatory, yet we have remained as competitive as Michigan.  If the problem is China, stop blaming Canada and deal with China.

 

Actually, Trump is doing both.    Canada is just along for the ride, being so much more dependent on exports to the USA and American capital investment.   There is a reason the plant in Oshawa is named "General Motors - Canada".   

 

Quote

Wasn't this the big point you've been trying to make about Trump imposing steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada to prevent China from dumping steel and aluminum into Canada?  Now Canada has steel and aluminum tariffs on China.  That excuse for US tariffs against Canada is gone, yet those offensive tariffs remain.  Canadians are well informed and watching all of this closely.  We will decide with our wallets and votes.  It's not just about buying cars, but rather a whole range of consumer choices, from where we'll travel to how we'll spend online to who we will lend our reputation to internationally, which actually does count for something, whether or not you want to admit it.

 

Oh please...spare me from such emotional threats.   Canadians are streaming across the U.S. border like refugees to escape the Canadian winter right now....just as they always have.  Today they are cyber shopping on American e-commerce web sites.   

Boycott all the ketchup and cars you want if that makes you feel better, but it will change nothing.  

Ontario's automotive sector has been dying for decades....long before Trump came along.    Do you miss Kathleen Wynne ?

Edited by bush_cheney2004
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Actions have consequences.  When you make the cost of doing business more and more expensive like the previous provincial government did, as well as the current federal government with their energy policies, things like this happen. 

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This is less about the Ontario's competitiveness and more about the Big 3's competitiveness. There are non-Union Honda and Toyota assembly plans in Ontario doing very well. 

It's a larger discussion about why the Big 3 are getting their lunch fed to them by Korean and Japanese automakers when it comes to compact and mid-sized cars. Ford has moved away from almost completely (They'll still make the Mustang)

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1 hour ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

Don't you get it ?   GM is more Chinese than it is Canadian.  

It's more Chinese/Mexican than American.

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It's also worth remembering that in March the Liberals quietly forgave all outstanding loans to GM and Chrysler, likely worth billions of dollars.

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12 minutes ago, scribblet said:

It's also worth remembering that in March the Liberals quietly forgave all outstanding loans to GM and Chrysler, likely worth billions of dollars.

Maybe they could ask GM for our money back. LOL. The situation should send a very important message to voters. The Libs are much more sympathetic to corporate shareholders than they are to ordinary workers or taxpayers. Anybody who thought or thinks otherwise is deluded. The Lib government will sell us down the river without asking any questions in the process. Disgraceful, really. But also, sadly, predicable.

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So we blame JT for this but the plants that shut down in the US have nothing to do with Trump? 

GM still has two plants in Ontario that make desired products. The products made in Oshawa weren't desirable to GM anymore because they suck at making cars. 

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2 hours ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

Actually, Trump is doing both.    Canada is just along for the ride, being so much more dependent on exports to the USA and American capital investment.   There is a reason the plant in Oshawa is named "General Motors - Canada".   

 

 

Oh please...spare me from such emotional threats.   Canadians are streaming across the U.S. border like refugees to escape the Canadian winter right now....just as they always have.  Today they are cyber shopping on American e-commerce web sites.   

Boycott all the ketchup and cars you want if that makes you feel better, but it will change nothing.  

Ontario's automotive sector has been dying for decades....long before Trump came along.    Do you miss Kathleen Wynne ?

I hope GM shareholders enjoy tanking profits in Canada.

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13 minutes ago, Boges said:

So we blame JT for this but the plants that shut down in the US have nothing to do with Trump? 

GM still has two plants in Ontario that make desired products. The products made in Oshawa weren't desirable to GM anymore because they suck at making cars. 

Europe and Asia are concentrating on developing EV's these days. North American manufacturers are regressing into trucks and SUV's because that's what North Americans buy. 

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8 minutes ago, Boges said:

So we blame JT for this but the plants that shut down in the US have nothing to do with Trump? 

GM still has two plants in Ontario that make desired products. The products made in Oshawa weren't desirable to GM anymore because they suck at making cars. 

I think the point is that JT's government quietly forgave the loans without apparently getting anything in return. Trump always demands something in return for his largesse. JT allowed Canadian taxpayers to be played for fools. GM may still have some production in Canada, but for how long? Also, the Oshawa plant could have been retooled to produce other lines. It's done all the time in the auto business. I believe GM's Oshawa plant has won many awards for productivity, quality and efficiency over the past two decades. But this didn't seem to do its workers much good. What more could they have done? Agreed to work for nothing? 

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41 minutes ago, scribblet said:

It's also worth remembering that in March the Liberals quietly forgave all outstanding loans to GM and Chrysler, likely worth billions of dollars.

At least Chrysler still employs 50% more people in Canada than either Ford or GM. For now anyway.

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