CAW CPR Succeeds in Getting Ford Essex Engine Plant in Windsor Reopened
March 28, 2008
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After almost two years of effort by the Canadian Auto Workers union and the members of CAW Local 200 the Ford Essex Engine plant in Windsor has been brought back to life despite the lack of federal government assistance. On March 31, 2008 Ford announced they were going to re-open the plant.
Vice Pres. Ford
"Today we are announcing, with the support of both the CAW and the province of Ontario that we are going to be re-investing in the Essex engine plant. We're going to make an investment right now of around 168 million dollars, which equates to about 300 jobs over the next several years in a new engine program for Essex Engine."
CAW national president Buzz Hargrove praised the announcement but criticized the federal government for its refusal to help the workers at Ford and the people of Windsor.
CAW National President
"We have a federal government that doesn't give a damn. They are just saying that we're not doing this thing. And it is just so off from what has historically happened and what is happening everywhere else in the world in auto investment today. So it is really discouraging that the federal government is not involved here so we have just got to keep pushing them to do what is needed to get the second and third phase of this engine."
Had the federal government got involved, the number of jobs created could have topped 600.
A year ago the Essex Engine plant workers ratified a new agreement with Ford by 92 per cent clearing the way for the new investment. Mike Vince, president of CAW Local 200 said his members will continue to work to bring much needed investment to the community.
Pres. CAW Local 200
"These things don't happen in isolation. There is a lot of hard work and a lot of lobbying that takes place to put something like this together. We did what we were required to do to put together a competitive operating agreement that was ratified by 94% in production and 90% in skilled trades, which really sent a strong signal I believe both to the province and to Ford Motor company."
Ontario Premier Dalton McGinty, who announced Ontario was putting in $16.8 million, praised the CAW and the workers at Local 200 for their efforts and promised to keep working to get more funding for the project.
We like to think of this as the beginning phase if I can put it that way Joe. We would love to do more here in Windsor with Ford. We'll see what the future brings but I remain very optimistic."
Full details about the new engine to be built at the Essex plant have not been officially released.
CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."