GM, union reach deal to rescue part of Ontario plant: source

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(Reuters) - General Motors and the largest union representing Canada’s auto workers have reached a deal to partly rescue an auto plant in Ontario slated to close this year by converting it to a parts-stamping facility, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The plan would help save some union jobs at GM’s Oshawa car-making plant, even though the operations would be scaled down and it will no longer produce cars, the source added.

“Oshawa stays open,” said the source who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “It’s a small foot in the door, but it stays open.”

A spokesman for GM declined to comment before an 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) press conference at which the company and the union are expected to make an announcement about the plant. A Unifor spokeswoman also declined comment before the press conference.

GM, which has been increasing its footprint in connected-car development in Canada, will also make an announcement on advanced automotive technologies, the source said.

CBC cited a brochure given to members of Unifor that outlined the plans for employees of the GM plant in Oshawa. In November, GM announced plans to close the plant by the end of 2019, affecting almost 2,600 workers.

Unifor said the closure was contrary to a contract that stipulates there would be no plant closures prior to Sept. 21, 2020.

Reporting by Tyler Choi in Toronto and Allison Lampert in Montreal; Additional reporting by Ben Klayman in Detriot; Editing by Denny Thomas and Paul Simao