Unifor 'ready to go' as focus turns to FCA in auto talks
Windsor Assembly Plant in Windsor, Ont., on Monday, March 30, 2015. (Christie Bezaire/ CTV Windsor)
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Now that Unifor and Ford Motor Company have reached a tentative deal, the focus shifts to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and local leaders say they are ready.
Unifor president Jerry Dias announced FCA was next in auto talks during Tuesday’s news conference.
“I’m saying right now to our members in Chrysler get ready,” said Dias. “The bargaining committee pack your bags.”
Unifor Local 444 president Dave Cassidy said they are looking forward to getting started.
“Our suitcases haven’t been unpacked,” said Cassidy. “We’ve been focused, we’ve been ready to go.”
Cassidy said pleased with the pattern that‘s been set with Ford.
“Finally it seems that they are realizing that this industry is a great industry, it’s important to our economy,” said Cassidy.
Cassidy tells CTV News the top priority is securing new product at the Windsor Assembly Plant.
“With dates and timelines, I’ve made it very clear to everybody that we don’t have a deal until we have a new product with dates and time,” Cassidy added.
Negotiations between Unifor and FCA are expected to start on Monday.
Windsor mayor Drew Dilkens says he’s pleased and eager for talks to start between the union and the city’s largest employer.
“A commitment for a new product in the Windsor operation is important, but also the move to more electrification of vehicles is a real strong sign for opportunity that exists here in Canada and Ontario and in the city of Windsor.”
Dias said Ford committed to investing in Windsor. He said Ford’s 6.8 L engine in Windsor will stabilize employment and create new opportunities. The new engine will be derivatives for the Mustang and F150. He expects it to be introduced in 2022.
With files from CTV Windsor's Chris Campbell.