Now that General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM) has reached a new collective agreement with Canadian workers, the automaker has announced plans to reopen its Oshawa, Ontario assembly plant.
GM says that it will invest up to $1.3 billion in its Oshawa facility and hire up to 2,000 workers in a stunning reversal of fortune at its Canadian operations.
GM’s tentative three-year deal with the Unifor union, which has not yet been approved by workers, would reopen the Oshawa assembly line to make Chevrolet Silverado and Sierra trucks, 11 months after it was idled as part of a global restructuring plan by the Detroit-based automaker.
GM Canada President Scott Bell said construction at the plant would begin immediately and would include a new body shop and flexible assembly module for the company’s new line of pick-up trucks.
The deal, if approved, would be an unexpected but welcome development for the plant east of Toronto, which was downsized to 300 workers from 2,600 last December. Unifor’s members are set to vote on the new tentative agreement on November 8.
The restored plant would call back 175 laid off workers and create 2,000 brand new jobs after vehicle production restarts in January 2022, with a second shift to be added in March 2022 and the work on the second vehicle beginning in May 2022. Up to 2,500 new workers could be needed if a third shift is eventually added at the Oshawa plant in July 2022.
The Oshawa plant first opened in 1907 and was bought by General Motors in 1918. GM said last year that the plant would become a part-stamping and autonomous vehicle testing facility before changing course and reversing itself this week.