WINDSOR, Ont. — Unifor President Jerry Dias warned General Motors he would take his travelling protest show on the road, moving it from General Motors’ backyard in Windsor, Ont., to the automaker’s front porch next week at the Detroit auto show.
The fiery union boss, during a rally Friday in Windsor with the automaker’s world headquarters in Detroit as a backdrop, didn’t divulge many details about the union’s auto show plan, but promised a union presence in Motown.
“We will be in Detroit. You can expect a lot of noise next week about vehicles built in Mexico,” Dias said after the rally, which drew by Unifor’s estimates 2,000 people and lasted less than an hour.
Dias spent several minutes attacking the automaker and its CEO Mary Barra for the November decision to close the Oshawa assembly plant in Ontario at the end of 2019. He then said he and his members would be “coming soon to a theater near you” and promised to get GM’s attention “in front of 8,000 reporters” descending on the Motor City for the auto show.
Dias said once again he isn’t calling for a boycott of General Motors vehicles — at least not, yet. That’s in contrast to a directive of the UAW in the U.S.
UAW Vice President Terry Dittes is urging union members and their families not to purchase the Mexico-made Chevrolet Blazer, which began arriving in U.S. showrooms last month.
In a Jan. 4 letter to members, obtained by Automotive News, the leader of the union's UAW-General Motors Department, wrote he hoped "that not a single UAW member, family member ever purchase this vehicle unless it is made in the U.S.A. by our UAW members."