Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Black Monday?


What an awful day it was on the employment front yesterday.

General Motors, the once proud auto manufacturer who used to sell and build roughly one out of every three new vehicles in Canada, now forecasts its market share will fall to 17%

To compensate GM plans to slash it's Canadian workforce from over 10,300 to a mere 4,400 factory workers. Meanwhile some 310 dealers now selling GM cars will be asked to shut their doors permanently in communities coast to coast.

"This does mark a bit of a watershed," said Doug Porter, economist for BMO Capital Markets. "I think it's a tragedy for the Canadian economy to some extent. GM was a huge employer. And one that paid relatively high wages... It's decline has gone hand in hand with some diminishing of the Ontario economy."

In a spinoff, Magna International is laying off about 725 employees at its biggest plant in the country. The company announced this morning that Formet Industries, a manufacturing division of Magna International Inc.'s Cosma unit, will cut production and jobs dramatically at its St. Thomas plant next month because of the slide in demand for North American trucks.

The reduction represents more than half of the Magna plant's workforce.

It's a dark day indeed for the Canadian autoworker, parts manufacturer or dealership employee.

So much for the "Built to Last... Built to Love" campaign.


Email: village_whisperer@live.ca

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