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CAW Unsatisfied With GM's Plan To Produce More Cars

Union official says any new cars planned for GM’s plant in Oshawa won't satisfy the union if the company proceeds with closing of the truck operation.

TORONTO (CP) -- The Toronto Star reports that General Motors of Canada Ltd. may soon reveal more new models for its flexible manufacturing plant in Oshawa.

However, union leaders say it won't take the focus off the fight to keep a nearby truck operation open.

The Canadian Auto Workers confirms the company and union have tentatively scheduled a meeting on Thursday to discuss the identity of future products and their starting dates at the plant.

GM and union officials would not comment on any new models, but industry sources told the Star GM plans to start assembling a luxury Cadillac car within the next few years and possibly an "extended version" of the hot-selling Chevrolet Malibu mid-size sedan by 2012.

The company will start building the Chevrolet Camaro sports car later this year but needs other models at the billion-dollar plant to make it efficient and profitable.

The new plant will have a capacity of more than 300,000 vehicles annually and the Camaro sales projections are in the 100,000 range.

Keith Osborne, plant chair for CAW Local 222 at GM's Oshawa complex, says any new cars won't satisfy the union if the company proceeds with closing of the truck operation.

GM announced earlier this month that it would cease production at the truck plant next year because soaring gasoline prices in recent months have driven pickup buyers to switch to more fuel-efficient cars. The truck plant employs 2,600 people.

The announcement came two weeks after workers ratified a new contract containing concessions in exchange for long-term product commitments depending on demand. The union charges that GM bargained in bad faith by getting the concessions and then pulling truck production permanently.

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