sting oshawa GM

Sting taking his Toronto show The Last Ship to Oshawa for GM workers

The beleagured workers of Oshawa's soon-to-close General Motors plant have an unlikely ally in the form of 67-year-old British rock star Sting.

Yes, that Sting.

Unifor, which represents thousands of Canadian autoworkers, announced on Monday that Sting and the cast of his musical The Last Ship will "perform in solidarity" this week with those who stand to lose their jobs in Oshawa.

The performance is scheduled to take place at noon on Thursday, February 14, at the Tributes Community Centre and will include songs from The Last Ship, which stars and features music by Sting.

It may sound like a strange promotional gig or political statement, but the event makes perfect sense in the context of Sting's new musical.

The Last Ship, which opened the Princess of Wales theatre in Toronto on Saturday, revolves around the true story of an English town losing a shipyard that's been powering the local community for centuries.

"This new musical tells a similar story to what is threatening to happen in Oshawa, with the potential demise of the GM plants that employs thousands of people," reads a release from Mirvish and Unifor.

"With tensions flaring, a grassroots protest gains strength as people fight to hold their community together in the face of the impending storm by building 'the last ship'."

Unifor National President Jerry Dias said in the release on Monday that Sting personally relates to the issue, as he himself hails from the town in which the musical is based, Newcastle.

"With the departure of shipbuilding from his hometown, Sting witnessed first-hand what becomes of workers and their families when the core industry is ripped away," said Dias.

"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."

Should GM's global restructing move forward as planned, the City of Oshawa will lose roughly 2,900 direct jobs as well as thousands of indirect positions within the community.

Lead photo by

Unifor Canada


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