GM Workers End Blockade of Canadian Headquarters

June 16, 2008
Blockade had been going on since June 3

The Canadian Auto Workers union on June 16 ended a two-week siege of General Motors' Canadian headquarters in Oshawa, Ontario, but vowed to continue fighting to keep a local assembly plant open. "A parade of cars and trucks circled the (headquarters)... and then we dispersed," Keith Osborne, a spokesman for the union, said.

GM workers had blocked access to the office building since June 3 to protest the U.S. auto giant's planned closure of a truck assembly plant in the city in 2009.

The union said the closure breached a three-year collective agreement signed only weeks before GM announced it was pulling plug. The labor accord was to have kept the plant open until 2011.

On June 13, a judge ordered the CAW blockade dismantled while criticizing GM's "deceitful" actions leading to the protests. The union yielded to the judgment, but vowed to continue fighting to keep the plant open. "We are not giving up on this struggle," said Peter Kennedy, assistant to the CAW's secretary treasurer.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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