Updated: November 30, 2010 4:55 AM | By The Canadian Press, thecanadianpress.com

GM Canada adds 700 workers at Oshawa plant



OSHAWA, Ont. - GM Canada has added 700 employees to support a second shift on its flex line at the Oshawa, Ont., assembly plant.

The automaker says the additional workers are needed in preparation for the 2011 launch of the Chevrolet Camaro Convertible and the all-new Buick Regal.

These models will be built alongside the Chevrolet Camaro Coupe.

GM says the Camaro Convertible is slated to begin production in January while the Buick Regal will ramp up production in early spring.

The new shift on the flex line was initially announced in February, and its startup comes just weeks after the addition of a third shift on a different line to support increased production for the Chevrolet Equinox.

GM says the two new shifts have secured over 1,300 jobs for Oshawa, recalling all production workers along with the hiring of over 300 new employees.

In a statement issued early Tuesday, Industry Minister Tony Clement hailed GM announcement as a ”positive sign for Canada’s auto industry.”

”A healthy automotive industry is a critical part of the Canadian economy. It provides opportunities to our skilled workforce and significant economic benefits to Canada,” said Clement.

General Motors had collapsed into bankruptcy only to be saved by Canadian and U.S. taxpayers, returned to life as a public company earlier this month/

During a restructuring, the company received billions of dollars from the U.S., Canadian and Ontario governments.

The automaker recently issued North America's largest initial public stock offering worth US$23 billion.

Clement said the hirings at the Oshawa plant are further evidence that assisting the automaker was ”the right decision to make. ”

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