Employees left the General Motors plant in St. Catharines today with heavy hearts and mixed emotions.
The St. Catharines facility isn’t on the chopping block, but there’s still uncertainty about what the future holds for the 1200 people employed there.
It’s a transmission-making factory, that sends about 10% of its product to Oshawa, but the majority of it goes to Texas.
Union representatives say they’re cautiously optimistic that the newly announced closures will not lead to the shuttering of the St. Catharines plant.
“We’re a good facility, we make a good product, we’re high quality. The work force in Canada is very skilled but it is General Motors, so there’s always that question mark in the back of your mind.” Tim McKinnon, GM unit chairperson.
This isn’t the first time that the city has dealt with massive layoffs from GM, including the closure of the plant on Ontario street in 2008.
In order to retain investment, Mayor Walter Sendzik says there must be cooperation from all levels of government.
“We have to work with all levels of government in Canada and Ontario to make sure we’re a competitive place in which manufacturers continue to invest.”
For now there’s relief in the Garden city, but there’s still a long road ahead.