The Closure of Manufacturing in General Motors Corporation

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According to, Aron Yeomanson (2018) the GM (General Motors) automobile manufacturing assembly line, is shutting down due to the decline in sales therefore, discontinuing the GM auto production in Oshawa, Ontario (Yeomanson, 2018). The GM is an American multinational corporation which will be closing one of five manufacturing assembly lines in North America. This in fact, will jeopardize “up to 14, 700 factory and white-collar workers' jobs and employs 2, 522 unionized workers” (Yeomanson, 2018. ) First, auto production represents economic growth as it drives capital accumulation and GM motors closure challenges the limitations of profit for the state. Second, causing political struggles for the government as they are trying to cope with this challenge which also limits their competitive markets with other states. Lastly, in relation to the affects of GM closure, job losses challenges the social liveability hence the labor wage cuts. This is examined through a social lens as it also partakes a negative outcome of this matter as it increases health risk factors affecting auto workers which are seen as a socially disadvantage group. The GM Motors closure represents the challenges facing in regards to the labour market, economy and government of the state which reflects on the increasingly contingent on globalization. Globalization in todays form is 'neoliberal' which makes future possible (Massey, 2002). Massey (2002) defines globalization as a “product of society, is a political and economic project. ” Thus, my paper will examine the effects of the GM motors closure that is not supporting better industrial unity in Canada through its negative impacts on the on the economy, social and political sectors of the state.

GM Motors Closure In Concerns Of Economy

It has fostered extreme negative impacts on the capitalist state of Canada. Through an economic stance, Canada is reliant on its global trade market to maintain a robust capitalist economy, in which GM has challenged the Canadas economy. This is because GM was a business corporation that note only had served consumers locally but internationally as well. This will undermine our capitalist state, due to the GM’s corporate greed is harming the capital of accumulation due to elimination of free trade. Progressive neoliberalism is in favour of free trade and free market, “progressive forces are effectively joined with the forces of cognitive capitalism; logic of progressive neoliberalism” (Fraser, 2017). Thus, manufactures that are not progressing in doing so, this has negative impacts on Canada’s capitalist market economy, as it relies on this sector.

This will only result in more costs than benefits for the states economy. The decline of this auto production will incapacitate free trade between Canada and other developed countries, since capitalism involves in supply and demand and that will no longer exist in accordance of this. GM Motors was seen as a huge contribution of capitalism that has been “associated with the model of a ‘coordinated market economy’” (Klikauer, 2012). Hence, as the automobiles in Canada have discontinued meaning that our supplies have declined since the “GM assembled almost one million cars a year east of Toronto” (Freeman, 2018). This will benefit more towards profitable industries that are still running these assembly plants, will increase demand to those profitable countries. Thus, this limits out trade with Canada and other capitalist states on a global scale which does not enable Canada to partake in the concept of globalization. Hence, the forces behind globalization include being new international division of labour which concentrates on manufacturing work, how it involves internationalization of finance and how there all no longer be the emergence of technology is needed in involving in the process of globalization (Massey, 2002).

The GM Motors in a way is described as ‘corporate greed’ since the GM was extremely profitable, “the company's decision to close some facilities is an attempt to protect itself against backlash from shareholders who think the company's share prices are too low. ” (Masemann et al. , 2018). In support of this, Aron Yeomanson (2018) endorses that “the company expects to save US$6-billion from the cutbacks, ” stating that this closure is a form of corporate greed since it benefits the corporation itself instead of profiting the state. Additionally, this will not let Canada engage in 'responsibility at a distance’ which will eliminate participation on a global scale (Massey, 2002).

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GM Closure Pressures Political Challenges

The GM has also put forward enormous political pressures on the Federal political leaders of Canada, The UNIFOR (Trade Union in Canada), UAW (United Automobile Workers), President of the US Donald Trump, are all under pressure in regards to helping the enormous amount of disadvantaged workers that this closure has caused. As a whole, the political actors on this matter are disappointed and have criticized immensely, “focused on forcing workers to face harsh reality, and offering some speeded-up EI. The feds took a similar tack. That's not leadership, it's social work. You suck any hope or fight out of the situation. ” (Salutin, 2018) Thus, the political leaders need to increase action on economic benefits in order to reduce the number of unevenly distributed job losses GM has caused.

The pressures are also challenging on a political stance due to Canada being a Democratic system, the government has the power to take action towards this matter. In addition, Mayor John Henry of Oshawa states that “It’s going to affect the province, it’s going to affect the region” (Yeomanson, 2018). In addition, UNIFOR (Trade Union in Canada) founded in 2013, is a labour union of Canada that help support and defend the working population (employees) rights specifically of the workplace. Evidently, President of Unifor Jerry Dias stated the closure “GM Canada is abandoning us, then they are in for a fight. Autoworkers & families deserve better than rumours. The Govt better be figuring out a plan” (Yeomanson, 2018). Thus, UNIFOR is trying to help aid this challenge but this will only cause more costs than benefits for our country since “Ottawa gave $7. 23-billion to GM, and the province $3. 6-billion, and when both governments unloaded their GM shares in 2015, they lost about $3. 5-billion on their taxpayer-funded investment” (Yeomanson, 2018). In accordance to this matter, Canadian government funded billions of dollars towards GM when they filed for bankruptcy in 2005, since they were part owners of the company. This brings negative impacts Canadians as these funds were obtain from taxpayer dollars. In results, has only caused more costs than benefits along with the auto production closing, there is no hope to gain those funds back. Lastly, since GM is of an American company, this reduces the chances of consumer opportunities diversity, meaning limitations of trade with the US. This will inactivate in political trades and agreements with other states as “Assembly operations have been moving to the southern U. S. and Mexico for years” (Freeman, 2018).

GM Motors Closure Pressures Social Liveability

Lastly, the labour market is face challenges hence the enormous job losses this has caused. It is affecting the auto workers livelihood that were dependant on this to make a living for themselves and their family. Auto industries through a social lens since it creates thousands of jobs which is essential for Canada’s biggest manufacturing factories. Thus, the closure will result in a massive job loss for the auto workers that have been working in the factory. This is raising an issue for the auto worker’s livelihood hat have been affected by this matter which will result in future mental health risks and social exclusion.

The UNIFOR founded in 2013, expresses that a profound number of families and communities “who depend on GM's real business of producing cars and generating income, we have allowed GM to be beholden purely to those financial pressures, ” (Masemann, 2018). This is because, GM expects these labour wage cuts to save them “4. 5 billion dollars (US) more profit by the end of 2020” (Masemann, 2018). Which only profits the corporate and does not focus on the local marginalized people affected by these thousands of job cuts. Although, the government is willing to expand the unemployment insurance by five weeks, for the auto workers who have lost their jobs as a result which was announced by political leaders: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as well as Mayor Doug Ford. , this is not enough more deliberate action needs to take place to resolve this, aside from the political pressures it has caused.

Nevertheless, not only are job losses threatening their financial stability but also affects their mental health that risks the social liveability of the now unemployed. Research on this, conducted Mental health affects future employment as job loss affects mental health: findings from a longitudinal population study (Olesen et al, 2013). The research investigates the stability of mental health is crucial for future employment. Thus, research indicated how an individuals’ workforce is a key principle in human nature and how work partakes a key principle factor of mental health which results in poor quality life of the individuals. Evidently, method used is from a data sampling a group of employed and unemployed respondents age between 20 to 55 years of age. The result of this sample, 92% of 7, 682 members portrayed a high rate of mental health risks such as depression and anxiety disorders for the unemployed demography. This being said the links the unemployed worker to mental health which results in social exclusion. These portray socially disadvantage groups of the auto workers that used to work in the GM assembly, yet have lost their jobs due to the matter. (Olesen et al. , 2013). Seeminly, the idea that overall “economic forces could be shaped to fill human needs” (Salutin, 2018) and that this idea destroyed as per the closure of the GM Motors. However, this also involves the concept of “place” as the GM manufacture as a “meeting place: different stories coming together” which constructs our society today (Massey, 2002). Reason for that is because social stability and liveability of one especially the auto workers in particular, is equally just as important as political and economic sectors.


To conclude, the closure of the manufacturing auto production of the GM motors, this is more than just a simple company or production closure. Instead, it is challenging the capitalist economy of the state since it is heavily dependent on the labour market, supply and demand of the economics system and the government. First, by cutting the wages of the auto workers working in this long time establishment which is threatening our labour market due to the layoffs which also affects their mental health. Second, it is limiting the economy’s free trade market of exportation. Lastly, it is challenging the government to resolve this since the government will cutback on budget since they would get a substantial amount of tax from the auto workers wages. Therefore, that holds for globalization in which involves in global processes in the world on a global scale.

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