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US auto strike forces layoffs of 1,200 GM workers in Canada

Some 1,200 workers are on temporary lay-off in Oshawa, a General Motors plant east of Toronto, GM Canada spokeswoman Jennifer Wright said (AFP Photo/Lars Hagberg)

Ottawa (AFP) - A strike by General Motors workers in the United States led Wednesday to the temporary layoffs of 1,200 Canadian auto workers, a GM spokeswoman said.

"I can confirm there are approximately 1,200 workers on temporary lay-off in Oshawa," east of Toronto, GM Canada spokeswoman Jennifer Wright told AFP.

According to GM, production of its full-size pickups at the plant was "interrupted due to a part shortage as a result of the UAW strike."

Given the high level of cross-border supply chain integration in the North American auto sector, it is not unusual for labor strife in one location to impact others.

Operations at two other GM facilities in Ontario province have not been impacted.

On Monday, almost 50,000 US auto workers from 31 plants went on strike in the largest industrial action to hit the carmaker in more than a decade.

Talks between GM and the United Auto Workers Union had hit an impasse as they tried to negotiate a replacement agreement when the manufacturer's four-year contract with workers expired.