"I'm shocked, it's an absolute embarrassment on behalf of GM as far as I'm concerned", said Mike Van Boekel, chairperson of Unifor Local 88. The company recently announced it was shifting production of the GMC Terrain to Mexico.
GM says it will shift production of the GMC Terrain SUV from a plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, to one in Mexico. "It is not based on sales, it is an another example of how good jobs are being shifted out of Canada for cheaper labor in Mexico and Unifor will not let it happen without a fight", he said in a statement.
NAFTA has linked Canada, the United States and Mexico since 1994. Despite the job losses, production of the Equinox is expected to sustain the plant for as many as 5-7 years. U.S. President Trump has told Mexico and Canada he wants to renegotiate NAFTA, or perhaps even scrap it.
General Motors of Canada Ltd. vice-president of corporate affairs David Paterson said the layoff notices are not related to the Terrain, but stem from the end of production of the older generation of the Equinox in July.
Following the announcement of 625 layoffs at General Motors Company (NYSE: GM)'s Ontario plant, Unifor President Jerry Dias expressed support for renegotiation of the NAFTA deal. "Make in United States of America or pay big border tax!"
Officials working for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have held several meetings with the Trump team, stressing that Canada is the top export destination for 35 USA states and that 9 million U.S.jobs depend on trade with Canada. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the sector had a net deficit of $25.6 billion, according to the Conference Board.
If Trump is able to bring more automotive jobs back to Detroit, that would create more opportunities for Canadian auto parts suppliers says Flavio Volpe, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association. "This nothing to do with Trump, but it has everything to do with NAFTA".