General Motors faces up to $35 million in penalties from the Ontario government for closing its Oshawa pickup truck plant next year, a top company official says.


The money is “10 to 20 per cent” of a $175-million, 50-year interest-free loan that GM got from Premier Dalton McGuinty’s $500-million auto investment fund three years ago, vice-president David Paterson confirmed.


Under the deal, GM was to maintain about 16,000 jobs in Ontario over a 10-year period ending in 2013.
Earlier yesterday, General Motors announced that in 2009 it will shut four North American plants, including a truck assembly operation in Oshawa, which the Canadian Auto Workers said employs 2,600 people. The CAW reacted angrily to the announcement, pledging to fight the move.


CAW president Buzz Hargrove said the union wasn’t ruling out anything and “will explore all options.”
He declined to be specific, but when asked whether the options included a wildcat strike or legal action, he said ”everything is on the table.”