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GM Warns Unifor To Cease Publication Of Super Bowl Ad


Despite objections from General Motors Co. (GM), Canada's largest private sector union Unifor has said it will move forward with airing a television commercial that is critical of the automaker during the Super Bowl.

Unifor represents Canadian employees at GM's car assembly plant at Oshawa, Ontario. About 2,500 of Unifor's unionized workers at Oshawa will eventually lose their jobs as part of a restructuring program by GM.

Unifor has said its commercial, 'GM leaves Canadians Out in the Cold,' is part of a #SaveOshawaGM campaign to reverse GM's decision to close the Oshawa assembly plant even as the automaker continues to expand production in Mexico.

The ad also references the Canadian government's 2009 bailout of GM and Chrysler, pointing out that Canada provided C$10.8 billion, or C$300 per Canadian citizen, to save GM from bankruptcy.

The campaign recently announced a call for consumers to boycott Mexican-made GM vehicles.

The advertisement asks Canadians to support good paying jobs by checking the Vehicle Identification Number or VIN to ensure that they are buying Canadian and U.S. union-made vehicles.

"The commercial points out that Canadians have been loyal to GM and now the company is leaving us out in the cold. We stand by the belief that if GM wants to sell here then it needs to build here and we will not be intimidated from sharing that message with Canadians in this ad," Unifor National President Jerry Dias said.

On Sunday, GM said its lawyers lodged a formal demand to Unifor to cease publication of the "misleading and inaccurate" advertisement.

The automaker said that while it respects Unifor's rights to protest, it cannot condone purposely misleading the Canadian public.

"Unifor knows that GM Canada repaid its 2009 loans in full, and that the restructured GM fulfilled all the terms of its agreements with the Canadian government many years ago. Since 2009, GM Canada has contributed over $100 billion to the Canadian economy including $8 billion invested into worker pensions," GM said.

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