Numerous sources have told CTV Toronto that General Motors is planning to close all operations in Oshawa, Ont., affecting thousands of high-paying jobs.
The announcement is expected to be made on Monday, in the city of about 159,000 people located roughly 60 kilometres east of Toronto.
Sources said they believe the Oshawa closures are part of a global restructuring.
General Motors in Oshawa, Ont., on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (The Canadian Press / Frank Gunn)
There are currently about 2,500 union positions and roughly 300 salaried employees in the Oshawa area. GM employs many more in Ingersoll, Markham and St. Catharines. It’s unclear if those positions are affected.
Outgoing Oshawa Mayor John Henry told CTV Toronto’s Miranda Anthistle that he’s “hoping it’s just a rumour” because GM is a “huge economic engine to the community.”
President Donald Trump, whose policies have consistently (and inaccurately) cast immigrants as a group that “takes jobs and benefits away from hardworking Americans” (his most recent tweet, using this exact phrasing, went out a scant 17 hours ago), has filed a request with the Department of Labor asking permission to hire 61 foreign workers as temporary cooks and front-of-house servers at his for-profit, Palm Beach, Florida Mar-a-Lago resort.
The request for 21 cooks and 40 front-of-house employees, for an employment window of October 2018 to May 2019, is under the controversial H-2 visa for temporary workers, which allows employers to fill non-agricultural roles for which there “are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work.” (Framed another way, application for said visa suggests that the Trump Organization, which runs Mar-a-Lago and other Trump properties, believes that there are no local American citizens “able, willing, and qualified” for the seasonal cook and server jobs.)
According to Department of Labor filings, servers in that temporary role would be paid $12.68 per hour, with cooks receiving $13.31 per hour. Annual membership to Mar-a-Lago costs $14,000 per year, not counting a $200,000 initiation fee.