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Business

AFP
November 28, 2018

Trudeau, Trump share ´disappointment´ over GM plant closures

Business

AFP
Wed, Nov, 18

OTTAWA: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Donald Trump found common ground during a phone call Tuesday in which they discussed the announced closure of General Motors plants.

"They expressed their disappointment over the closures of the GM plants in Canada and the US" and "underscored their concern for the workers, their families and the communities that are affected by this decision," Trudeau spokesman Cameron Ahmad said.

The two leaders -- who have been at loggerheads for months -- are expected to meet at the G20 summit in Argentina at the end of the week.

On Monday, General Motors announced it was cutting 15 percent of its workforce and closing plants in both countries to save $6 billion.

The decision drew sharp criticisms from the US and Canadian labor unions representing GM workers. The union heads are scheduled to meet in Washington on Wednesday to map out a joint strategy to try to force GM to reverse course.

Jerry Dias, head of Unifor, which represents the 2,500 Canadian workers that will find themselves out of work at the end of 2019 when GM shutters its Oshawa plant, met earlier with Trudeau.

"We are at crossroads," he said. "The reality is GM is on the cusp of complete disinvestment in Canada, and that will lead to a catastrophic end to Canada´s most lucrative export industry."