A new job action centre designed to help autoworkers and parts makers who lost their jobs in the wake of the closure of General Motors’ Oshawa plant is set to open this month.
Unifor didn’t offer a date but said in a statement it will be housed at the Unifor Local 222 union hall.
In late October last year, Unifor and the Ontario government announced the action centre was coming. It will provide assistance and retraining for Unifor members who are affected by the assembly line closure. Affected workers include security officers at Securitas as well as independent parts supplier (IPS) workers at Lear Corporation Whitby, Robinson Solutions, Marek Hospitality, Syncreon, Auto Warehousing Canada, Inteva Products, Oakley Industries, and CEVA Logistics.
All told, about 2,000 GM workers and another 1,700 in the parts sector were thrown out of work once the automaker ceased production at the plant on Dec. 18, 2019.
"Workers across Oshawa and the Durham region face a difficult job transition period," said Jerry Dias, Unifor national president. "The Ontario government's support comes at a vital time when autoparts workers’ needs are at their height."
Both the province — through its Rapid Re-employment and Training Service — and suppliers in the region have combined to contribute $780,000 to help run the centre. Local action centres provide coordinated community response in labour adjustment situations and provide affected workers with a one-stop centre for support.
"We are helping reach out to our members and want to make sure that everyone has a familiar place to go and get help from their friends, colleagues, union members who can help navigate the difficult road ahead,” Unifor Local 1090 Financial Secretary Greg Auchterlonie said in a statement.