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Emergency meeting held in Ottawa about hiring for Windsor battery plant

Stellantis and LG Energy Solution EV battery plant construction site in Windsor, Ont., on Monday, May 15, 2023. (Sijia Liu/CTV News Windsor) Stellantis and LG Energy Solution EV battery plant construction site in Windsor, Ont., on Monday, May 15, 2023. (Sijia Liu/CTV News Windsor)
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An emergency meeting was held in Ottawa about hiring for the NextStar battery plant in Windsor.

Conservative MP’s are asking for the contract between Stellantis and LG Energy Solutions to be publicly released.

“Canadians have a right to know what kinds of contracts this government is signing with private corporations,” Conservative MP Luc Berthold told the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates Monday morning.

The Conservative MP’s say the deal – offering incentives to automakers for each battery they produce in Canada – will cost each household up to $3,000.

“It would be the worlds biggest mistake if we did not look into the investment,” Essex MP Chris Lewis said. “The workers deserve the answers. The unions deserve the answers and the folks of Windsor-Essex deserve the answers.”

Federal officials have said the contract cannot be publicly released because it contains proprietary information about the automaker and LG.

The company confirmed Thursday 900 South Korean workers will be moving to Windsor to help set up the factory on the city’s east end.

“They have specific knowledge of the equipment, having been part of the team to build it and disassemble it for shipping, and will therefore see the installation through,” a NextStar spokesperson said.

“This is not the place to play politics with peoples’ livelihoods’,” Windsor-Tecumseh MP Irek Kusmierczyk told the committee, warning the MPs to use the facts.

Kusmierczyk said he had the chance to tour the factory and talked to NextStar officials on the weekend.

He confirmed 900 South Koreans are coming over to build the ‘proprietary equipment’ going into the building which is nothing unusual for the industry.

“There will be 2,500 full time jobs building batteries, building 2 million batteries every year at that Stellantis plant. Those workers will be local. They will be Canadian and they will be unionized,” Kusmierczyk told the committee.

This is a developing story. More to come.

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