Thu. Oct 5th, 2023
    GM Halts Production at CAMI Plant Due to Battery Shortage, Leaving Workers in Uncertain Situation

    The CAMI assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario will be temporarily shut down by global automaker GM from mid-October until springtime next year. The shutdown is a result of a shortage of batteries required for building BrightDrop electric delivery vehicles. With approximately 1,100 out of 1,500 workers at the plant affected, the announcement has thrown the lives of these workers and their families into extreme uncertainty.

    This is not the first time the CAMI plant has experienced shutdowns. In fact, just three months ago, the facility had a two-week shutdown due to a battery shortage. The plant was also subject to a months-long shutdown in 2022 and suffered repeated production stops and starts in 2021 due to a shortage of semi-conductor chips. CAMI workers have faced a lack of job security and have had to rely on Employment Insurance, Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (SUB) pay, and food banks to make ends meet.

    The plant has been relying on batteries assembled at the Ultium Cells plant in Lordstown, Ohio. However, production issues at the Lordstown plant have resulted in repeated shortages. To alleviate the pressure, a battery assembly facility is currently under construction at CAMI but is not expected to be fully operational until the second quarter of 2024.

    The situation at CAMI is emblematic of the challenges faced by autoworkers in Canada during the transition to electric vehicles. The lack of support from the Unifor bureaucracy and the relentless pursuit of profit by automakers have led to job insecurity and concessionary agreements. Unifor has been fighting for income protection during EV production plant changeovers, but its commitment to the EV transition at the expense of autoworkers has been evident.

    – World Socialist Web Site (source article)