Unifor president Jerry Dias (right) said workers in St. Catharines could face layoffs within days, since about 80% of the engines the plant builds are destined for cars assembled at GM plants in the US

Unifor president Jerry Dias (right) said workers in St. Catharines could face layoffs within days, since about 80% of the engines the plant builds are destined for cars assembled at GM plants in the US

The United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against General Motors in the US from Sunday night led to hundreds of workers at the the Oshawa plant in Ontario, Canada, being told to stay home on Wednesday due to parts shortages shutting down the truck assembly line.

According to cbc.com, 1,200 workers were told to go home on Tuesday afternoon while another 650 on the morning shift were told they weren't needed on Wednesday.

A GM spokesman told cbc.com approximately half of production at Oshawa was being affected by the UAW strike.

"Some vehicles have been disrupted because of a lack of parts," David Paterson, GM's vice-president for corporate and environmental affairs, confirmed to cbc.com, adding the company would continue to monitor the situation.

Oshawa itself was doomed by GM's November 2018 announcement it would be one of five North American plants closing at the end of 2019.

Cbc.com said the workers sent home or told to stay away would be paid a full wage because of a contract stipulating all full-time employees must be paid for the last 16 weeks of work.

"This affected GM more than it affected us - we're already prepared for the plant closure, and now because of the contract they have to pay us regardless," Peter Levesque, one of the workers who was told to stay home on Wednesday morning, told CBC News

The plant's own union - Unifor - has fought a losing battle against the closure.

Unifor's Local 222 representative Mike Barry told cbc.com his main concern was keeping everyone inside the Oshawa plant happy for now.

"Our union has gone through great lengths with the company to make sure this isn't affecting us financially right now," Barry said.

"We're just standing behind our brothers in the States — they've got a big fight ahead of them, but they can do it," he added.

Cbc.com said both the union and GM were watching two other plants in Ontario closely but, so far, the assembly plant in Ingersoll and the engine and transmission plant in St. Catharines had been unaffected by the parts shortage.

However, Unifor president Jerry Dias told cbc.com workers in St. Catharines could face layoffs within days, since about 80% of the engines the plant builds are destined for cars assembled at GM plants in the US.

In turn, about half the vehicles assembled at Ingersoll use engines made in the US.

Dias estimated the plant may have to halt operations within 10 days while GM had not said how many days' worth of parts it has in reserve, cbc.com reported.