Canadians are being asked to boycott General Motors if the automaker follows through on a plan to shutter its assembly plant in Oshawa, Ont., at the end of 2019.
Unifor Local 222, which represents about 2,500 workers at the factory, is asking owners of GM vehicles to display lawn signs that read: "If GM pulls out of Oshawa, this is the last GM vehicle I buy."
The union wants people to snap a photo of themselves, their vehicle and the sign and tweet it to the automaker.
“Show the decision-makers in Detroit what you think of their plans for Oshawa,” the union said in a statement. “Public pressure does get results.”
The plant currently builds the Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impala and finishes assembly of outgoing models of the light- and heavy-duty GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado. The automaker plans to axe all four vehicles from its lineup after 2019.
It means about 3,000 employees — roughly 2,500 of them hourly and represented by Unifor — will be out of work.
Immediately after GM announced on Nov. 26 that it would not allocate product to the Oshawa plant beyond 2019, Unifor President Jerry Dias promised one “hell of a fight” to keep the plant open.
Local 222 is also selling black t-shirts emblazoned with the words “Save Oshawa GM” for $10 each. The union is asking its members to wear the shirts on Fridays. The money “goes directly to the Save Oshawa GM campaign.
The union has also launched the website SaveOsahwaGM.ca and Twitter account @SaveOshawaGM.
GM Canada didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
General Motors has sold 283,025 vehicles in Canada through November, down three per cent over the same time last year. Only Ford has sold more vehicles (290,948) in Canada this year.