Ford will shut down its St. Thomas assembly plant in 2011 and the workers can do little to stop it, their national president says.
The Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union and Ford of Canada are in talks on a concessionary collective agreement to cut Ford’s costs, a step the union is willing to take if Ford brings new investment and jobs to Canada. But that won’t be in St. Thomas, CAW president Ken Lewenza said today
“They will not invest in the plant. Ford is determined to close St. Thomas,” he said. “They told us they are going to close the plant. They do not have product after 2011 and there are no plans to give us a product.
“They do not see a future in St. Thomas. That is their terminology.”
Ford has made significant investments in its centerpiece Oakville, Ontario assembly plant and is adding more capacity to its engine manufacturing operations in Windsor. But during the 2008 contract discussions, it announced that it had no plans for a new product line at its St. Thomas, Ontario plant. That facility, which produces Ford’s larger, less popular automobiles, lost 700 jobs and its second-shift last year and is all but officially earmarked for shuttering in 2011 with the attendant loss of the remaining 1,600 jobs.