CAW emphasizes importance of new Ford contract as negotiations resume

The main issue in the ongoing negotiations on this side of the border is the future of an assembly plant in St. Thomas, Ont.

Currently, the 1,600-employee plant builds the Ford Crown Victoria, the Lincoln Town Car and the Mercury Grand Marquis – all full-sized cars, demand for which is limited to niche markets. The Crown Victoria is only included in sales of fleets, such as those run by police departments and taxi companies.

Ford has said repeatedly that it has no plans to manufacture vehicles in St. Thomas beyond 2011. Lewenza has suggested Ford could increase production at its other Canadian plants to offset the closure of St. Thomas, but Ford won’t release any details on its plans.

“We’ve asked them to take a look at where existing work is being sourced and see if there’s a possibility to source more work into our workplaces and those are the options we’re going to have to talk about (this) week, but to be honest we haven’t made much headway,” Lewenza said.

Ford spokeswoman Lauren More said the company doesn’t discuss future production or product plans for competitive reasons.
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