* Workers at GM Canada's car seat supplier Lear on strike
* Union says GM Oshawa seat supply to last 4-5 hours
* Workers at GM engine part supplier Wescast also on strike
By Susan Taylor
TORONTO, Oct 29 Production at General Motors
Co's Oshawa, Ontario, plant could shut down Monday as a
strike at Lear Corp cut off supplies of seats used in
vehicles assembled there, the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union
said on Monday.
About 400 workers at Lear's plant in Whitby, Ontario, went
on strike on Sunday after talks broke down over company requests
for contract concessions, the CAW, which represents workers at
both GM and Lear, said.
"General Motors will have enough seats to run approximately
four, maybe five, hours today and then the Oshawa car assembly
plant will cease production," said Chris Buckley, president of
CAW Local 222 at Oshawa. "On top of the Oshawa assembly plant,
every other auto parts supplier that feeds GM Oshawa will feel
this affect as well."
General Motors said it expects production at Oshawa "will be
affected early this week" and that it is working to limit the
"GM Canada is hopeful that Lear will reach a resolution with
the CAW," said GM spokeswoman Adria MacKenzie, without detailing
GM's plans to deal with any disruption.
A spokesman for Lear was not immediately available for
There are about 4,000 assembly line workers at GM's Oshawa
plant, and 1,500 auto parts workers in surrounding plants,
Lear's Whitby factory produces and ships car seats to GM
Oshawa for assembly in Impala, Buick Regal, Cadillac and Camaro
models, Buckley said.
Buckley said the seats cannot be sourced elsewhere, but GM
Canada could not immediately confirm that.
A halt in production could affect a host of other GM Canada
parts suppliers such as Johnson Controls Inc, Syncreon
and Woodbridge Foam Corp, Buckley said.
In another dispute, 65 unionized workers who make exhaust
manifolds at Wescast Industries Inc, who are also
represented by the CAW, went on strike Saturday morning.
Parts made at Wescast's Strathroy, Ontario, plant are
included in GM's Gen IV engines produced at its St. Catharines,
Ontario, plant. The engines power Silverado and Sierra models
assembled in the United States and Mexico, said CAW national
representative Jim Woods.
"We hope that there's not going to be any disruption," of
supply, Wescast Chief Executive Ed Frackowiak told Reuters.
"Under the labor laws, we have the right to continue to make
parts in that facility by using our salaried staff and that's
what we intend to do," he added.