Retiree Report December 2018

Retiree Chairperson’s Report – December 2018

Well, this is the last meeting of Local 199 Retired Workers Chapter for 2018.  Things have gone well on the Retired Workers Chapter Executive Board as well as with the Retirees Centre, especially with the improvements which have been made.  Work on the Local 199 Executive Board has been going good as well. I look forward to 2019, to see if we can make some more improvements to the Retirees Centre.

On November 25, 2018, we received some real bad news about the Oshawa, General Motors plant being scheduled for closing.  I myself, went through a plant closure with the closing of the GM Foundry after I had worked there for 30 years. My heart goes out to the workers in Oshawa.   It is terrible to lose a good paying job.  The work which these workers will find to replace their current jobs will not pay nearly as well nor have similar benefits.  In 2016, our entire contract negotiations gave priority to getting new work for Oshawa.  Well, it will all end in December of 2019.  This is a year early because our union negotiated to have the work in Oshawa continue until 2020.

GM always announces these Plant Closings just before Christmas.  This will make for a bad Christmas for all the workers in GM Oshawa and their families and for the workers in all of the supplier operations and for these workers’ families. Unifor Local 222 says they are going to fight to keep the GM plant open in Oshawa.  This is with four GM plants to be closed in the U.S. as well. This means that they are in for a very tough fight because Trump is fighting for the Lordstown plant in southern Ohio.   But I wish them all the best in their fight to get new work for the Oshawa GM plant.   We, the retirees in the Niagara Local 199, will help the Oshawa workers in any way we can in the coming months and throughout 2019.

In closing, I would like to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I hope 2019 is going to be better for us retirees and for active workers as well.

Fred Dougan
Chairperson, Retiree Chapter, Unifor Local 199