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UAW joins call to boycott GM cars made in Mexico

Canada's autoworkers union urging carmaker to keep five plants open

Getty Images/TNS

Unifor members block a gate at the General Motors Oshawa plant in Oshawa, Ontario, in November.
Getty Images/TNS Unifor members block a gate at the General Motors Oshawa plant in Oshawa, Ontario, in November.

The UAW is joining Canada’s autoworkers union, Unifor, to apply pressure on General Motors to keep five plants in North America running.

The UAW is calling for consumers to buy GM cars only if they are assembled in the United States and Canada, and has released a two-and-a-half-minute YouTube video as part of the UAW’s GMinvestinUS social media effort.

In it, the UAW reminds consumers how U.S. tax dollars helped GM through its 2010 bankruptcy, saying it’s now GM’s turn to invest in U.S. workers.

After President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday aimed at expanding his Buy American, Hire American initiative, UAW President Gary Jones also issued a statement.

“The President has taken important steps to adhere to the concept that the U.S. government and consumers should Buy American,” Jones said.

“When consumers invest in the products of U.S. workers, we each make an investment in all of us. And it’s not just government.”

The UAW noted that it supports purchases of GM cars assembled in Canada, but not in Mexico, China and Poland.

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Jones said it is time for GM to return the favor of the government bailout in 2010 that enabled the company to emerge from bankruptcy.

The UAW and Unifor want GM to reverse its Nov. 26 announcement to indefinitely idle five plants in the United States and Canada, putting about 6,000 production workers’ jobs in jeopardy.

GM also plans to cut about 5,700 white-collar GM jobs after a round of voluntary buyouts fell short of the company’s target of 8,000 job reductions.

In response to the UAW’s new effort, GM said it “is committed to maintaining a strong manufacturing presence in the U.S., as evidenced by our more than $22 billion investments in U.S. operations since 2009 and more to come this year. For example, we have invested more than $4 billion to support full-size trucks and SUVs in Michigan, Indiana and Texas.

“The Nov. 26 announcement supports our ability to invest for future growth and positions the company for long-term success, maintaining and growing American jobs.”

Unifor has paid for an ad to run during Sunday’s broadcast urging consumers to not buy Mexican-made GM cars, according to the Toronto Sun. The ad will run in English and French, and tell viewers that when GM needed help, Canadians gave it a $10.8 billion bailout, yet GM continued to expand in Mexico.

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