Union workers at a Canadian auto seat plant walked off the job Friday to protest General Motors' planned closure of an Ontario manufacturing facility.
Unifor says about 200 employees at the Lear Corp. operation in Whitby, Ontario - which supplies seats to the GM Oshawa plant - walked off the job in solidarity with the union's campaign early Friday morning.
Full production of Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks resumed at the Oshawa plant at approximately 3:10 p.m. EST (20:10 GMT), said Unifor Local 222 President Colin James.
It is the latest measure in a Unifor campaign that aims to convince GM to extend production at the Oshawa plant to September 2020, when it says the current contract expires. Under a broad restructuring announced in November, GM said it will close Oshawa by end-2019.
The Oshawa plant operates on a just-in-time delivery system, keeping a limited supply of bulky commodities like seats on hand, said GM Canada spokeswoman Jennifer Wright. "That could change over the hours to come".
Oshawa, which runs at 30 percent capacity, produces about 250 Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impalas cars daily, on a single shift.
"The message that we're sending is that it's not just about General Motors' workers". A recent economic impact study shows that the closure of GM Oshawa would result in 24,000 lost jobs across the economy and a loss of $1 billion per year in government revenue.
This week, GM reported a market-beating quarterly profit, lifted by high-margin trucks and cost cutting.
Unifor president Jerry Dias says the workers and the union are demanding government action to help protect jobs.