General Motors' decision to cease production at five North American manufacturing facilities has earmarked the beginning of job cuts in the thousands. Canadian labor union Unifor has since lobbied to help save the Ontario-based Oshawa assembly plant and has recently recruited the help of musician Sting to help it do so.
Unifor announced that Sting would visit the Oshawa assembly plant on Thursday for a brief performance. The labor union paid to rent the nearby Tribute Communities Centre for the appearance, however, Sting and his cast have agreed to perform at no cost.
The artist is currently touring nearby in Toronto where he is cast in his aptly named rendition, The Last Ship. The musical carries a theme which is closely tied with the closing of the Oshawa plant, depicting the downfall of the shipbuilding industry in the English town of Wallsend and the closure of the town's famous Swan Hunter shipyard.
“With the departure of shipbuilding from his hometown, Sting witnessed first-hand what becomes of workers and their families when the core industry is ripped away,” affirms Unifor president Jerry Dias.
GM announced in November that it would deallocate production from Oshawa and would begin negotiations for the plant closure in the coming months. Currently, the automaker produces the Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impala at the facility, as well as provides a final assembly for the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Both the XTS and Impala are killed off as part of GM's global restructuring plan.