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GM shut down Oshawa facility on Friday as U.S. strike continues

A vehicle passes under a sign at the Oshawa's General Motors plant Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, in Oshawa, Ontario. (Eduardo Lima/The Canadian Press via AP)

General Motors Co. halted manufacturing work at its Oshawa Assembly Plant on Friday as the strike by workers in the United States disrupts the tightly-integrated automotive industry.

Jacqueline Thomson, a spokesperson for GM, said approximately 2,000 unionized workers have been temporarily laid off with pay from the Oshawa facility as vehicle production was stopped Friday.

“We have seen disruption of our vehicle assembly work at the Oshawa Assembly Plant due to the UAW strike,” Thomson said in an emailed statement.

“We plan to resume these operations as quickly as possible upon resolution of the UAW strike.”

GM had stopped production on its truck line earlier this week, laying off about 1,300 employees because of a parts shortage caused by the strike. On Friday it also stopped production on its flex line, which produces the Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac XTS.

“It’s just a question of not having enough parts to build the vehicles,” Unifor president Jerry Dias said in an interview on Thursday.

Dias also said he expects that about 800 employees working at GM’s St. Catharines Propulsion Plant will receive temporary layoff notices as early as Monday if the strike in the United States continues.

Thomson said that the company’s operations in St. Catharines, as well as at its CAMI facility in Ingersoll, have not been disrupted as of Friday.

Nearly 50,000 United Auto Workers members walked off the job on Monday, idling 55 factories and parts warehouses across the U.S. Negotiations between GM and the union resumed Thursday.

The strike, the first in more than a decade, could lead to thousands of job losses in the highly-integrated Canadian automotive industry.

Automotive parts manufacturers have also started scheduling contingency plans because of the closures in the United States.

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