Some very tough news came the way of workers at the FCA plant in Windsor, Ontario yesterday, as Fiat-Chrysler announced it was cutting shifts at the factory. Some 1,500 jobs are being lost due to the measure.
Only two work shifts will continue to work past next September 30.
“The Company will make every effort to place indefinitely laid off hourly employees in open full-time positions as they become available based on seniority.”
- Fiat Chrysler statement
The Windsor plant handles assembly of the Chrysler Pacifica and its hybrid version as well as the Dodge Grand Caravan; the facility currently employs 6,104 workers. The plant produced its first minivans in 1983, and the popularity of the format at the time led to the institution of three work shifts some 10 years later, in 1993.
The president of Unifor union Local 444, Dave Cassidy, told journalists that the decision was “devastating for everyone”.
The union head added that Unifor would put pressure on the FCA Group to use its facility at full capacity.
“We’ve notified the company that we want to meet immediately with Mike Manley, the CEO of FCA.”
- Dave Cassidy, Unifor
Unifor president Jerry Dias made a similar statement on Twitter:
“I am deeply concerned about the 1,500 plus families, the community of Windsor (and) the (Canadian) auto industry. (Unifor) has demanded an urgent meeting with (FCA) to address.”
- Jerry Dias, Unifor, on Twitter
Provincial and federal government authorities also expressed their concern.
The residents of Windsor have additional reason to be frustrated because this past February, FCA announced a $4.5 billion investment to build a new plant in Michigan and to update four other in that state. Those moves will create some 6,500 new jobs in the area.