September 18, 2019 / 6:08 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 2-Parts shortage leads GM to lay off 1,200 temporarily in Canada

(Recasts with context of U.S. strike; adds details on health care concerns, background)

Sept 18 (Reuters) - The strike against General Motors Co’s U.S. operations has led to a parts shortage, the automaker said on Wednesday, and as a result it announced the temporary lay-offs of 1,200 workers at its Oshawa assembly plant in Canada.

The plant, which makes the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks, ran out of parts on Tuesday.

The lay-off announcement came three days after about 48,000 hourly workers went on strike across GM facilities in the United States. Contract talks began early on Wednesday and were continuing into the evening aimed at reaching a deal, but no agreement was expected immediately.

“We anticipated there would be an impact because of the strike,” David Paterson, a spokesman for General Motors in Canada, told Reuters.

The Oshawa plant will continue to make sedans.

Separately, Democrats in the U.S. Congress ramped up criticism of GM over its decision to shift health insurance costs for its striking workers to the union and urged the company reach a deal.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat, said on Twitter that the decision was “straight barbarism.” She added: “GM workers are asking for a raise during a time of record profits. In response, GM execs cut off their health insurance.”

Many Democratic presidential candidates have issued similar comments.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Twitter of the dispute: “Enough of the stonewalling. It’s time for @GM to do the right thing.” (Reporting by Rachit Vats in Bengaluru, Allison Lampert in Montreal and David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Dan Grebler)

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