The Canadian Auto Workers said that a strike at Lear Corp. has interrupted the supplies of seats used in the vehicles built at General Motors Co.'s plant in Oshawa, Ontario, so output at the plant was stopped yesterday. The good news is that today, everything returned to normal. The CAW, which represents workers at both GM and Lear, said that last Sunday, around 400 workers at Lear's plant in Whitby, Ontario, near Toronto went on strike as talks broke down over company’s demands for contract concessions.
Chris Buckley, president of CAW Local 222 at Oshawa, said that General Motors has only enough supplies of seats to operate 4-5 hours at the Oshawa car assembly plant and then production will have to stop.
He also said that the supply drought will affect all the other auto parts suppliers of GM Oshawa. GM said that it is implementing measures to minimize the impact on Oshawa production. GM spokeswoman Adria MacKenzie said that GM Canada is “hopeful” that Lear will enter a resolution with the CAW. No further details were given.
Lear has not given an official comment about the matter. GM's Oshawa plant has about 4,000 assembly line workers. There are also 1,500 auto parts workers in the surrounding plants.
Buckley said that Lear's Whitby plant makes and delivers car seats to GM Oshawa to be used in Impala, Buick Regal, Cadillac and Camaro models. He said that the seats can’t be sourced from other companies. GM Canada hasn’t yet confirmed this information. Buckley explained that if production is stopped, other GM Canada parts suppliers will be affected, including Johnson Controls Inc., Syncreon and Woodbridge Foam Corp.