Unifor president calls for Canada to boycott GM

General Motors is not backing down from its decision to close its operations in Oshawa, and now the union representing those workers is calling on Canadians and Americans to boycott cars assembled in Mexico.

Unifor says this is the beginning of a major campaign.

Some gm vehicles, like the Equinox, are assembled in both Canadian and Mexican plants.

The union has a new ad to teach people that your vehicle identification number, or VIN will tell you where the car is built. A VIN starting in 3 was built in Mexico, a VIN starting in 2 was built in Canada.

General Motors says a boycott could cause collateral damage across Ontario, because the auto industry is integrated across borders. GM dealers we spoke to aren’t sure if the boycott will be effective, but they have received an onslaught of form letters through email today from people who purportedly do support the boycott.

Marvin Ryder from the DeGroote School of Business says most buyers will ignore the boycott. The concept is complicated, especially because many cars are assembled in Mexico with Canadian parts. He says the Oshawa plant was under performing, and GM closed four plants in the US.

Unlike Jerry Dias from Unifor, Marvin Ryder does not think GM will pull entirely out of Canada, but we may see more brands discontinued as people’s tastes continue to change.