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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
GM worker fears "downward spiral"
Tue Apr 29, 2008
By Amy England

GM announced Monday that between 900 and 1,000 jobs will be eliminated in Oshawa leaving workers, still reeling from the loss of a shift and 1,000 jobs in January, shocked.

Falling demand for GM's full-size pickup trucks was blamed.

"I was in shock when I first heard but then I just look at the way gas prices are going up and it doesn't surprise me," said south Oshawa resident James Byrom Monday night.

An employee of GM for over 24 years, Mr. Byrom is currently on a temporary layoff from the car plant until the beginning of August.

Brian Lindensmith said he wasn't surprised. Mr. Lindensmith has been with GM for 26 years.

"Everyone that has worked for GM has been laid off at one time or another," he said. "Sales are down and this is what happens."

Larry Hardy, a GM worker who car pools with six men from St. Catharines, said he's concerned about the future outcome. Mr. Hardy said Monday night that he's seen this all before when he had to relocate to Oshawa from the St. Catharines plant after it closed 6 years ago.

Mr. Hardy, 56, commutes four hours every day to work in Oshawa. He was laid off for two years beginning in 2000 and has participated in retraining but was not successful finding another job outside of GM.

"A year ago the trunk plant was working three shifts," said Mr. Hardy. " And now this… most of us have been with GM for over 25 years and it is hard for us to find new work of any kind."

"It seems now it is a downward spiral, we always are asking who is to blame," said Mr. Hardy Monday night. "Are we making the mistakes? Is the union making the mistakes or is GM making the mistake? I wish we knew."

The truck plant had been running flat out since 1993 when a three-shift schedule started. Annual production regularly surpassed 300,000 trucks. It also won several awards for top productivity among truck plants in North America.

Oshawa Mayor John Gray hopes the news won't be as dark as it seems. "One of our saving graces is that it doesn't happen 'till September," he said, stressing that the job cuts are the result of economic conditions in the U.S. "That gives us some time and if the market changes, we may not have to cut that many."

Also See: $10 Gasoline Predicted in as Little as Three Years

· Premium Member
12,770 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
What that really means is "....was not successful in finding another job that paid $31/hr CAD with top-line benefits for doing unskilled labor with no education..."

Imagine that!
I always find it strange, too, when people assume that once they've had a good paying job, that there's an invisible floor that follows them up to that pay grade.

In other words, a person would rather sit at home and get payments from someone than get out and do something too "below them" like work at the local McDonalds or Gas Station.

If I make the choice to move somewhere else (I'm considering this), I am fully prepared to take a lesser paying job for a while, just to have some income. If I live in a big home and lose my cushy job? Then I'll sell it, and move into an apartment. Sell the Bonneville, maybe even the Safari and live tight for a while.

Last thing I'm going to do is lie around the house watching Oprah, feeling sorry for myself.
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