Unifor officials say FCA investing $355M in Windsor Assembly Plant
Unifor says FCA is investing $355 million in the Windsor Assembly Plant.
Unifor officials say they had a ‘productive meeting’ with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles officials regarding the future of the plant during a meeting in Toronto on Wednesday.
Unifor Local 444 Secretary Treasurer James Stewart tells CTV Windsor officials with the automaker confirmed during the meeting that FCA will invest $355 million in the plant for a new product.
But Unifor Local 444 President Dave Cassidy says “nothing has changed with regard to the notice but we will continue fighting for our members and community until we have a resolve.”
That means FCA will continue with its plan to eliminate the third production shift at WAP at the end of September, putting 1,500 employees out of work, “in order to better align production with global demand.”
Sales of the Pacifica this year are down 54 per cent in Canada through February and 24 per cent in the U.S. Sales of the Grand Caravan are down more than 20 per cent in both countries over the same period. Both minivans are built at Windsor Assembly.
“We’re still nervous about the third shift,” admits Stewart. “There’s more than 1,500 of our members from the Windsor Assembly Plant, thousands more at the feeder plants that really if we can’t change the course can be negatively affected.”
Unifor president Jerry Dias posted about the meeting on social media Wednesday.
“We engaged in an open and transparent conversation and I look forward to further discussion in the near future,” Dias said.
FCA officials tell CTV News they have nothing to announce at this time.
Unifor represents the more than 6,000 employees who work at the Windsor Assembly Plant, plus hundreds more who work at automotive parts plants who will also be affected by FCA’s move.
Cassidy says Wednesday’s meeting was “the first high level meeting with FCA since we received official notice on the loss of the third shift.
Cassidy adds the company has asked for further meetings, and the union is going to explore options with FCA to maintain jobs at the plant that are threatened by plans to reduce production.
The Windsor Assembly Plant underwent a $1 billion retooling in 2015 to start building the Chrysler Pacifica.
When operating at full volume, the Windsor plant produces nearly 1,500 minivans per day.