General Motors Oshawa Ontario workers demonstrate agains the decision to close the award-winning plant at the end of this year. World famous musician Sting and cast will perform in the city on Thursday in solidarity . (Unifor-twitter)

Sting to support Oshawa GM workers

Brings “Last Ship” musical to Oshawa

After 100 years or so of making vehicles in Oshawa, and as the major employer in the city, General Motors announced late last year it would close the plant.

Sting (Gordon Sumner) knows what it’s like for a town to lose its main source of employment.

He saw that happen in his shipbuilding town of Wallsend, Newcastle on Tyne. The long history of shipbuilding came to a virtual end when the last shipyard closed in 2007.  That led to Sting creating “the Last Ship”, a musical originally inspired by his 1991 album “The Soul Cages” and “The Last Ship” album of 2013.

Sting and cast to perform a version of his musical “The Last Ship” at no cost to show support for GM workers, (Charles Sykes-Invision-AP)

It is built around how the community dealt with the closure of the shipyard.

Premiered in Chicago in 2014, it is now playing in Toronto, but Sting wanted to show solidarity with the General Motors workers in nearby Oshawa who are dealing with the announced closure of the plant there.

Unifor which represents the GM workers said the performance is a boost to their cause to keep the plant open (via Unifor)

Some 3,000 employees will be affected by the closure of the GM plant set for the end of this year. About 25,000 other jobs at suppliers throughout the region also will be adversely affected, along with a wide variety of retail and other businesses in the city.

Jerry Dias, Unifor president, tweet

Sting will stage a version of the musical for Oshawa workers on Thursday.  The labour union, Unifor, which represents the workers rented a local community centre for the performance, where Sting and cast members will perform at no cost. In a press release Unifor president Jerry Dias, said, “The Oshawa GM workers are incredibly grateful to Sting and the cast of this show for their support as they continue to fight for their jobs.”

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